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Ca. 1880-Large and figural porcelain knob well modeled and finely colored to depict the bust of a pretty woman, plain silver collar engraved with the name of the cane's first owner in old German letters, rosewood shaft with a beautiful streaked structure and rich hues and a brass ferrule. A white complexion pasty round face drawing attention to plucked thin penciled high and curved eyebrows above beautiful bluish eyes as well as small rose-bud shaped lips painted red effect crystallize the beauty essentials of the “Age of Enlightenment”. Her opulent, long hair tucked with flowers is bound on the head and falls graciously on the shoulders. She shows the full, rounded bust and small waist, also en vogue at the period. The handle is glazed and hand painted naturalistically with an exceptional attention to fine detail and the gently gadrooned plinth is highlighted with camaïeu pourpre and rich gold moriage and embossed with the molded seal of the manufacture, which can never be counterfeit, on the front and on the back. Better than the best, it reflects all the seductive powers of the vitrified material and survived intact.
It was modeled by the Swiss born Franz Anton Bustelli (1723-63) for the world famous Bavarian Nymphenburg porcelain manufacture and belongs to his Commedia Dell'arte characters which remained unsurpassed in their sense of movement and grace.
Nymphenburg porcelain canes are extremely difficult to come by, making them a true collector's item with excellent market value.
H. 3 ¼” x 1 ¾”, O.L. 39 ½”
In the 18th century, porcelain was the ultimate status symbol for Europe's royals. So prized was this hard but delicate material that it was known as "white gold." And as Janet Gleeson's 1998 history, "The Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story," makes clear, princes and dukes were not above imprisoning craftsmen to discover the secret and keep it for themselves. Nymphenburg Porcelain factory was founded in 1747 in Bavaria and moved to Nymphenburg on the outskirts of Munich in 1761. Hard-paste porcelain was made from the beginning, but from 1757 its quality improved and it was used to make Rococo figures, including those modeled by Franz Bustelli. The Nymphenburg factory also produced veilleuses and tableware and was specialized in the production of cane handles and small boxes.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries Nymphenburg mainly produced busts, reliefs and classic figures, and tableware in Sèvres Empire style. Early 20th century products include art nouveau tableware and figures.
Franz Anton Bustelli (12 April 1723 – 18 April 1763) was a Swiss-born German modeler for the Bavarian Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory from 1754 to his death in 1763. He is widely regarded as the finest modeller of porcelain in the Rococo style: “If the art of European porcelain finds it’s most perfect expression in the rococo style, so the style finds its most perfect expression in the work of Bustelli”.