Pair of Meissen vases sets world record

An extremely rare pair of Meissen red-ground vases from circa 1735 achieved £831,900 at Bonhams 500 Years of European Ceramics sale in London recently – setting a new world record for a pair of Meissen vases.

The vases more than quadrupled their pre-sale estimate of £120,000-180,000.

A pair of Meissen red-ground bottle vases, circa 1735

Nette Megens, Bonhams Director, Decorative Arts, U.K. and Europe, said: “This is an exceptional result for an important and hitherto unrecorded pair of vases. Bottle vases of this kind were made by the Meissen factory exclusively for the Dresden court, and these are the largest size and only known examples with this rare ground colour. These qualities, and the fact that these vases were fresh to the market, led to fierce competition in the saleroom. The price they achieved is also a testament to the taste of one of the greatest collectors of the 20th century, Catalina von Pannwitz (1876-1959), to whom they once belonged.”

Another top lot was the very rare pair of Nymphenburg large circular dishes from the ‘Hofservice’, circa 1760-1735, which sold for £164,000, soaring past an estimate of £20,000-30,000.

Other highlights of the sale included:

  • A pair of Meissen models of hares, circa 1750. Sold for £36,840, against an estimate of £8,000-12,000
  • A rare Meissen footed stand from the Sulkowski service. Sold for £35,580 (estimate: £15,000-20,000).
  • A Meissen basket centrepiece from Podewils service, circa 1741-42, sold for £25,500 (estimate: £6,000-8,000).
  • A large Vincennes/Sèvres oval green-ground dish (plat à groseilles) from the Frederick V of Denmark service, dated 1735-38. Sold for £25,500 (estimate: £20,000-30,000).
  • A Sèvres plate from the ‘service de dessert marly rouge’ for Emperor Napoleon I, dated 1809. Sold for £20,400 (estimate: £8,000-12,000).
  • A Meissen waste bowl from the Sulkowski service, circa 1735-38. Sold for £16,575 (estimate: £6,000-8,000).
  • A rare Meissen large dish from the Sulkowski service, circa 1735-38, sold for £14,025 (estimate: £12,000-18,000).