Hard–paste porcelain; H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
The George B. McClellan Collection, Gift of Mrs. George B. McClellan, 1941 (42.205.26)
This beaker-shaped vase is among the earliest pieces of porcelain produced at the Meissen factory. The factory was established in 1710, a result of the technological breakthrough of the previous year in which the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger discovered the formula for hard-paste porcelain. While pieces of so-called Böttger porcelain were exhibited in 1710, most of the production of this cream-colored, hard-paste porcelain is more securely dated to the years 171320.
Like many pieces of early Böttger porcelain, this vase closely follows a model made in Böttger stoneware. It is thought that both the form and decoration of this vase were derived from a design by the Saxon court goldsmith Johann Jacob Irminger (16351724). Joining the Meissen factory in 1710, Irminger supplied many of the designs used for both stoneware and porcelain. The band of acanthus leaves above the foot and the female masks are found frequently on Meissen's production of the years 171020.