Design (partly): Johann Jakob Irminger
Manufacturer: Royal Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, approx 1735-40
Dimensions (case): 61 x 18 x 39.5 cm (w x h x d)
Case: wood, leather with gold blocking,gold-plated metal and embossed clasp, velvet with metal-yarn trimming, printed
marble paper on underside
Coffee and Tea Service: porcelain with blue underglaze painting, bright gilding and gold etching
Inv. No. Ov 259 a-j
The dark brown leather case with green velvet lining contains a coffee and tea service comprising 29 parts: coffee and tea pot, tea and sugar bowl, a washing-up bowl, as well as six double-handled mugs and four cups, each with matching saucers. The porcelain is decorated with underglaze blue painting, featuring a rock and bird motif. Based on East Asian examples, this very popular motif was created in the late 1720s in Meissen and, after 1730, also appeared in blue painting. A large flowering shrub springs from a bizarrely shaped rock; a bird, similar to a hummingbird, flies through the air.
Due to the rich bright gilding (only the tea pot and one saucer feature an additional gold-etched tendril décor), which was most certainly done in an Augsburg-based workshop, the porcelain is reminiscent of silver utensils that were manufactured in Augsburg at the same time.
In the 18th century, princes and noblemen often used these types of coffee and tea services with cases during their travels so that they could enjoy their familiar luxuries and did not have to do without fine beverages such as tea and coffee, which became fashionable during the second half of the 17th century.