Search the Collection

Dish "Swan Service"

Johann Joachim Kändler (German, 1706–1774)

Johann Friedrich Eberlein (German, 1696–1749)

Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (German, b. 1710–present)


Medium porcelain with enamel and gilded decoration Measurements H: 2 5/16 diam: 13 5/16 in. (5.87 x 33.81 cm) Credit Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection Accession Number 70.32.1543 Location Gallery 18, Bruce Galleries


Swans, herons, shells, and assorted aquatic motifs emerge in monochromatic relief on this object from the incomparable Swan Service. The service originally consisted of more than 2,200 pieces and took over four years to produce. Carnegie Museum of Art has eight pieces in its collection. Meissen’s Modellmeister Johann Joachim Kändler used the richly modeled porcelain as the primary aesthetic element. Relief-molded motifs of rippling water and aquatic plants are beautifully integrated with the shapes of the vessels, some in the form of shells.

Show More

Title: Label, Scaife, Meissen Orange Stand from Swan Service, 60.10.1
Swans, dolphins, shells, and assorted water motifs emerge in voluptuous monochromatic relief on the tableware seen here. Master modeler Johann Joachim Kändler, assisted by Johann Friedrich Eberlein, created these designs with richly modeled contours to call attention to the milky white porcelain clay—a relatively new technological triumph at that time in European ceramic production. Kändler and Eberlein designed the 2,200-piece "Swan Service," which took four years to produce, for Count Heinrich von Brühl, a minister to Augustus III, the Elector of Saxony. Von Brühl's "Swan Service," commissioned upon the occasion of his marriage, is an unrestrained expression of luxury and typifies the 18th-century concept of dining as a complete sensory experience. The intricately painted von Brühl coat of arms can be seen on many pieces of the service.
Date: 2007
Purpose: label
Author: Delphia, Ms. Rachel E. - CMOA