25 Mar 2015
A Porcelain Figurine of a Naiad with a Seashell
IMPERIAL PORCELAIN MANUFACTORY, PERIOD OF NICHOLAS I (1825–1855)
Height 15.5 cm.
with blue Imperial cypher for Nicholas I
The prototype for this figurine was a Meissen figure of the same name, which belonged to one of the most renowned services of the 18th century – the Swan Service, commissioned by Augustus II the Strong in 1737 for his Prime Minister, Graf von Brühl, one of the most influential political figures of his time. The dominant idea behind the shape of the pieces in this service is flowing water as a symbol of fluidity of time in the stream of life. The sculpted figures included the figure of a naiad – a type of nymph who presides over fresh water. She holds a stylised seashell, which served as an original receptacle for sweets in the dessert section of the Swan Service. Later when, as early as the 19th century, these pieces started to be produced at the Imperial Porcelain manufactory in St Petersburg, the shells were used to keep little trinkets and knick-knacks in.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.