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Friday, November 20, 2009

BONHAMS SHOWCASES EXTRAORDINARY COLLECTION OF ‘MAGICAL’ MEISSEN PORCELAIN Highlights from one of the finest collections of Meissen in the world, the Hoffmeister Collection – porcelain of Kings, Princes, Tsars and Popes

The world-famous Hoffmeister Collection will be showcased at Bonhams New Bond Street at 11am on Tuesday 24thNovember, ahead of the sale of the first part of this phenomenal porcelain collection.
Known as ‘white gold’, the collection was assembled over the last 40 years by two German brothers who have a passion for this rare 18th-century porcelain. Considered one of the finest collections of Meissen in the world, for the past ten years it has been on view at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, one of Europe’s leading museums of applied arts.
The production of Meissen porcelain was cloaked in secrecy, with those privy to the manufacturing details kept as veritable prisoners, even spirited away during times of war, lest their intelligence fell into hostile hands. And no wonder, given that the porcelain was said to have alchemical properties so that even those who supped poison from it would be granted immunity. These magical pieces are sure to bewitch all those who view the collection on show.
The Hoffmeister Collection is a survey of the decoration of Meissen porcelain during the first 50 years of the manufactory’s existence, when Meissen dominated the taste for porcelain across Europe. It illustrates the quality and variety of the oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe. The collection includes the largest and most important group of 18th-century Meissen armorial porcelain anywhere in the world. The provenance of many pieces is equally distinguished, with examples formerly owned by some of the greatest collectors of the last 150 years, such as Maurice de Rothschild, Ludwig von Darmstaedter and Erich von Goldschmidt-Rothschild.

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