This small figure depicts a strutting peacock with its neck craning high and with a perky little bonnet sitting on top of its head. It features a naturally rich color palette, which is most beautifully executed on the long and opulent feather trail. The colors resemble the palette of art nouveau; onglaze colors in their original condition: a luminous royal blue, and a soft and dreamy celadon green represent the novel harmony in color and design of the time!
The “peacock” figure was modelled by Konrad Hentschel (1872-1907) in 1898. Hentschel was one of Germany’s most renowned porcelain modelers of his time, who worked for the Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory in Meissen from 1896 to 1907. Especially his designs of the crocus-dejeuner from 1896 and his elaborate series of small child figures from 1904-1905 gained special attention and added to his growing reputation. The service, which imitated the crocus flower in color and shape, constituted the first set of tableware, that entirely took up the rules of emerging art nouveau and suited them for the design of domestic porcelain.
This peacock figure was moulded in the manufactory around 1900. On the underside, the figure is marked with the Meissen crossed swords with pommels. The term of the “pommel era” describes the time from 1850/60-1924, in which this way of marking was in use. Next to the underglaze blue mark, the model number R 172 was carved into the porcelain mass.
The manufactory in Meissen was founded in 1710 and then called “Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon Porcelain Manufactory”. Under the name “Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory Meissen” the company, which was originally in regal ownership, was endorsed on the Saxon revenue department in 1806. In 1918, the business was listed as “National Porcelain Manufactory Meissen”.
Bergmann, Sabine; Bergmann, Thomas: Meissener Künstler – Figuren. Modellnummern A 100 – Z 300, Erlangen 2010, S. 236.
Bröhan, Karl: Kunst der Jahrhundertwende und der zwanziger Jahre, Bd. 2, Teil 2, Berlin 1977, S. 288-371.
Hakenjos, Bernd: Um 1909. Porzellan aus Berlin, Meissen und Nymphenburg. Eine Ausstellung zum 90jährigen Bestehen des Hetjens-Museums, Düsseldorf 1999.
Just, Johannes: Meissener Jugendstil Porzellan, Leipzig 1983.