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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article


NYMPHENBURG CHINA - 1747-1862

(SINCE 1862 CONTINUED IN PRIVATE HANDS)

HISTORY. Under the Elector of Bavaria, Max Joseph III, an hard paste porcelain factory was established as a State enterprise at Naudeck, in 1747, with the aid of the expert, Joseph Jacob Ringler, from Vienna. Ringler left before the work of establishment was fully accomplished and the factory did not get into thorough working order, capable of satisfactory and continuous production, until 1753- In 1761 the factory was transferred from Naudeck to quarters that had been especially prepared for it adjacent to the Palace of Nymphenburg near Munich, and by the name of Nymphenburg it has always been known. Under the patronage of the Elector Max Toseph, the royal factory flourished exceedingly and, in 1765, employed two hundred workmen. The next Elector, however, felt no especial interest in the making of porcelain and from 1777 to 1799 the manufacture languished and the working force of the factory was cut down so that it can scarcely be said to have done more than barely exist. in 1799 the succeeding Elector determined to restore porcelain making to its former importance and new life was infused into the establishment. In 1800 some of the best workmen from Frankenthal were employed and the output of the factory was greatly increased. In 1862 the establishment ceased to be a royal factory and passed into private hands. The manufacture is still carried on.

THE BODY. The body is a paste of excellent quality, white, hard and of dense, smooth texture.

THE GLAZE. The glaze, likewise, is of unexceptione quality, perfectly distributed, clear and brilliant.

ARTICLES MADE AND CONTOUR. The articles made include all the customary "useful" tableware and the usual decorative adjuncts, but the making of such chinaware was thrown somewhat into the background by the greatest laid upon figures and groups which were of the _ -: atest excellence.The sculptor Melchior came to Nymphenburg and remained there till his death, producing some of his finest figures which contributed much to the factory's fame. Apart from the figures, glazed and in the biscuit, the only special feature of Nymphenburg manufacture is to be found in the food warmers made there.

In the matter of contour the Nymphenburg china followed fairly closely the fashions current at Dresden.

TYPES OF DECORATION. Underglaze blue painting was little, if at all, practised at Nymphenburg and was virtually unknown. Moulding and modelling in high relief were both employed and the raised and modelled parts were accented with color, birds and landscapes supplied the usual motifs, as elsewhere. Landscapes and peasant scenes were often painted in monochrome and for this purpose copper green was a rather favourite color. The Nymphenburg decoration is marked by great naturalism and delicacy of painting. From about 1800 it is also characterised by elaborate and well-executed figure painting. It then became a practice to decorate the chinaware, and especially vases, with minutely finished copies of famous pictures in the Munich galleries and although this sort of ornamentation was exquisitely rendered, the taste that dictated the practice is decidedly questionable. Much Nymphenburg china of the period is certainly over-decorated. After 1815 not a little of the painted decoration was performed in Munich.

THE MARKS. The usual mark was some form of the Bavarian coat of arms, although the six-pointed "seal of Solomon" now and then occurred with letters or figures at the points. Initial letters were also used in conjunction with the marks just mentioned.



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