Porcelain figure "Girl with flower garland"
Artist/Maker: Imperial & Royal Factory Vienna
Artist/Maker Dates: 1717 - 1864
Place of Production: Austria, Vienna
Date of Production: 1749 - 1770
Materials: gilding, porcelain, underglaze hand painting
Height: 12.7 cm.
The Imperial and Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Vienna (Kaiserlich Privilegierte Porcellain Fabrique) had its origins in theft and intrigue. In 1710, the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory in nearby Saxony began producing the first European hard-paste porcelain after decades of failed attempts to replicate the Chinese porcelain making process. However, Meissen’s Samuel Stötzel quickly turned on his employer and sold the company’s closely guarded secret – the use of kaolin, or china clay – to Vienna’s Claudius Innocentius du Paquier.
Du Paquier began producing Viennese porcelain by 1718, making Vienna the second-oldest manufacturer of hard-paste porcelain in Europe. In 1744, facing financial difficulties, du Paquier sold his company to Empress Maria Theresia, of the Austrian royal family, who established the Imperial and Royal Porcelain Manufactory, or Royal Vienna. For more than a century, Royal Vienna produced beautiful Rococo and Neoclassical pieces, often depicting the genre scenes of famous contemporary artists.
Today, the term Royal Vienna can refer to both the original Viennese factory, which closed in 1864, and the variety of high-quality imitators who have since used the company’s characteristic “beehive” mark. Several of the pieces in the Frank Museum’s collection fall into the latter category, including works by the German manufacturer Ackermann & Fritze.
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