JOHANN CARL SCHOENHEIT (German 1730-1805) and MICHEL VICTOR ACIER (French 1736-1799) A SET OF FOUR GILT AND POLYCHROME ENAMEL DECORATED PORCELAIN FIGURAL GROUPS "Vermaehlungsgruppe," FOR MEISSENER PORZELLAN MANUFAKTUR, GERMANY, DESIGNED 1781, PRODUCED AFTER 1890, the group modeled in four parts on separate rock work plinths mounted on a later single shaped wooden plinth, comprised of a figure of Cupid as a bare chested young man with flowing gilt trimmed blue drape around his waist and large wings at his back, wearing a floral wreath upon his head and a matching chain of flowers across his chest, standing behind a columnar altar with floral swags and an oval relief of Cupid and Psyche embracing, "THALASIO" emblazoned twice in gilt around the frame, in his left hand he holds a flaming torch just above the top of the altar, his right arm outstretched as if to embrace the figure which his gaze falls upon; a female draped in the manner of a Vestal Virgin, wearing sandals upon her feet, a blue band in her hair, and over her cloaked head a laurel wreath, holding a lighted torch in her right hand and demurely gazing downwards and to the side, seeking out the eyes of her intended; a young fair haired man wearing sandals and a white belted tunic over mauve "bracea," clasped at his left shoulder a tan lined crimson brown "lacerna," on his head a laurel wreath, he holds a flaming torch in his right hand, and his gaze is fixed upon the woman in front of him; and to the back a figure of a reclining dark haired woman with a ribbon in her hair, her back turned to the others, her left breast exposed, wearing a light grey/mauve "stola" with a jeweled clasp at the bust and another at the right shoulder joined by a blue band and fastening a light green "palla" that flows around her waist, in her left arm she cradles two cornucopias, one filled with flowers, the other with jewels, marked with underglaze blue crossed swords, incised "G 71," and impressed "70." Height: 13" Width: 12" Depth: 9" NOTE: Detailed notes regarding the design of this group can be found in Pauline Grafin von Spee M.A. aus Muschede/ Arnsberg, "Die Klassizistische Porzellanplastik de Meissener Manufaktur," Doctoral dissertation, Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat, Bonn, 2004, pgs. 319-320 (catalog no. 122) referenced from the Model Books in the Meissen Archives. The draped female figure is based on a marble statue in the collection of Augustus III excavated from Herculaneum and ensconced in the palace at Dresden, usually identified as a Vestal Virgin. The relief plaque of Cupid and Psyche is based on a Meissen group attributed to Johann Carl Schoenheit circa 1772 (Form number D 79) which in turn was based on a group formerly in the Albani Collection, Rome, acquired by Augustus the Strong and in the Dresden Collection of Antiquities. The multi plinth configuration of this group is most unusual. It has been suggested that the group was made available as separate elements to provide potential purchasers with a means of buying a large and complex group in installments.
In overall good to very good condition with no evidence of chips, nicks, or cracks to the porcelain, gilding bright with nominal rubbing.
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