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Gallery Text

At the start of the eighteenth century, Meissen developed the first hard-paste porcelain in Europe. Fired at a high temperature, this type of translucent and bright ceramic had previously been found only in wares imported from the East by the Dutch East India Company. Many of the Meissen factory’s early patterns copy Asian models directly. The shape of this tureen, with its pomegranate finial, boar’s head handles, and woven-designed rim is unmistakably European, but its motifs are based on the enameled decorations of Japanese ceramics in the Kakiemon style. Named after a seventeenth-century potter, that style features delicate designs, usually including insects, butterflies, and flowers, set against a white ground. This tureen is decorated in the Bienenmuster, or bee pattern, after the active bees that gather around the knotted bouquets.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Manufactured by Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, German (founded 1710)
Designed by Johann Friedrich Eberlein, German (Dresden 1695 - 1749 Meissen)
Other Titles
Alternate Title: "Bienenmuster" Circular Tureen and Cover
Work Type
c. 1740-45
Creation Place: Europe, Germany, Meissen
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Hard-paste porcelain decorated with polychrome enamels and gold
30.8 cm (12 1/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • manufacturer's mark: bottom of vessel, in underglaze-blue: crossed swords
  • label: bottom of vessel, yellowed label: 48 in black ink
  • label: bottom of vessel, rectangular sticker, computer printed: 103-205660 Item 8 / TIMOTHEUS R. POHLN / SALE 6609 / LOT 244 A MEISSEN [handwritten in black ink] 1 of 2
  • label: bottom of vessel, sticker, partially removed, in ballpoint: [illeg.] 34/ [illeg.] 22


Recorded Ownership History
[Sotheby's, New York, Sale 6609, October 19 and 20, 1994, lot 244], sold; to Timotheus Pohl, gift; to Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, 2015.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Timotheus R. Pohl
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • English and Continental Ceramics, Sale 6609, auct. cat., Sotheby's, New York (New York, October 19 and 20, 1994), cat. no 244

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 2220 18th-19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 07/11/2022

Verification Level

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