Meissen Porcelain Vase
The Meissen Porcelain Factory, located near Dresden in Germany, was founded by Frederick Augustus I, Elector of Saxony, in 1710 and set a standard for porcelain production that factories throughout Europe would seek to emulate.
This vase, dating from c.1840, was initially owned by Tsar Alexander III of Russia, who in 1890 presented it, in exchange for a collection of rare plant specimens, to Baron Ferdinand von Mueller (1825-1896), the renowned botanist and the first director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.
In 1896, at an auction after the death of Baron von Mueller, Bendigo artist and teacher Arthur T.Woodward acquired the vase, later loaning it to Bendigo Art Gallery for the citizens of the area to enjoy. The Gallery purchased the vase from Woodward in 1926, after it had been on permanent display for many years.
The piece has been cast in three sections: base, vase and cover. The intricate details of the hand-formed flowers, and the cupids (on the reverse), would have made the creation of this work a slow process, with additions being required at several different stages of the firing process. Aspects of the eighteenth-century rococo style, which was resurrected in the 1830s, are apparent in the gilded scrolls and the lively lines of decoration.