Erich Hösel - Moss New York Monday, October 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Video

    ERICH HÖSEL Pair of Böttgerware camels

  • Literature

    Peter Braun, Böttgersteinzeug®, A Meissen Fascination, Dresden, 2007, p. 52

  • Catalogue Essay

    Johann Friedrich Böttger (1682-1719) worked as an alchemist for King Augustus of Poland after he fled from the King of Prussia, who attempted to seize Böttger, believing that he had mastered the secret of the "Philosopher's Stone". Augustus of Poland put him to work immediately searching for the same impossible task of making gold from base metals. The task ended in failure, naturally. The court scientist to King Augustus, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus (1651-1708), suggested to the King that Böttger's services might better serve the monarchy if he were to turn his attentions to the creation of earthenware that would fill the King's treasury with profit resulting from industrial production. The King agreed, and both Böttger and von Tschirnhaus began experimenting with clays and earths between 1708 and 1710. As a result, they succeeded in producing red stoneware - called Böttgersteinzeug - that was so hard it could be polished on the lapidary's wheel. Böttger wanted to make a "hard-paste" white porcelain, similar to the porcelain the Chinese had been producing since 613 CE, instead of merely imitating and refining earthenware, as he had been doing with his experiments in red stoneware. Around 1710, he found the proper balance of materials to mix into what was to be the first true European white porcelain with a smooth texture and translucent quality, and the Meissen manufactory was established. Effectively, this discovery ended the use of the red stoneware. However, in the early 20th century, there was a resurgence of interest in Böttgersteinzeug. Max Adolf Pfeiffer, who was Meissen's director from 1918 until 1933, reintroduced into the collection pieces executed in this unusual and challenging material. Erich Hosel (1869-1953), who sculpted these two figures, began his studies in sculpture at the Dresden Art Academy in 1886. Upon his graduation, he was awarded a travel grant, which took him to the Middle East - a source of inspiration which ultimately led to the creation of these figures. An acknowledged master sculptor, Hosel became superintendent of design at Meissen in April 1903, and Director of Design from 1912 onwards.



Pair of Böttgerware camels, from the ‘Limited Masterpieces’ series

designed 1931, produced 2007
Red stoneware.
Taller: 16 x 19 x 7 3/4 in (40.6 x 48.3 x 19.7 cm); shorter: 13 3/4 x 19 x 7 1/2 in (34.9 x 48.3 x 19.1 cm)
Manufactured by Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen, Germany. Number 19 from the edition of 25. Underside of taller impressed with ‘BÖTTGER/STEINZEU/25AN/86103’ and side of base impressed with manufacturer’s mark and written in gold with ‘19 / 25’. Underside of shorter impressed with ‘BÖTTGER/STEINZEU/27AN/82609’ and side of base impressed with manufacturer’s marks and written in gold with ‘19 / 25’ (2).

$6,000 - 8,000 


16 October 2012
New York