Part one of the renowned Marouf Collection of Meissen porcelain has been sold in a dedicated auction at Bonhams yesterday (December 5), with the highly important "Half-Figure Service" selling as top lot.
The collection belongs to Said and Roswitha Marouf, who have arguably amassed the world's most important single-owner collection of 18th century Meissen porcelain. The Half-Figure Service decoration is considered to be the finest of all Meissen chinoiserie painting, warranting a sale price of £541,250 ($872,156).
The nine-piece tea set was painted by perhaps the most respected Meissen painter, Johann Gregorius Horoldt, who first joined the factory in 1720. Completed circa 1726, the piece features the superb chinoiserie scenes for which he became known, with half-length figures engaged in various pursuits.
Bringing the second highest bids of the auction was a very rare and early Meissen coffee service, which was created circa 1722-1725. Each piece of the small service was painted with Kauffahrtei scenes depicting merchants and their wares by a quayside, with each scene painted within a gilt scrollwork cartouche.
Comprising a coffee pot, teapot, slop bowl and four teacups and saucers, the service sold for £85,250 ($137,351).
Germany's Meissen porcelain (named after the small town where it is based) was the first European hard-paste porcelain, originally developed in 1708. The factory has long been a world-renowned name in fine ceramics, providing pieces for some of the most illustrious royal houses across Europe.
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