Delightful German Porcelain Seated Figurine from Sitzendorf Depicting a Young Boy on a tree stump beside a birds nest with a bird cage on the ground. Early Twentieth Century.
The figure is expertly modelled with traditional 18th Century costume and most skilfully hand-enamelled in a wonderful array of brightly coloured enamels. The boy is resting on a naturalistic circular base with applied daisy-type flowers and a rose.
Condition: Excellent condition with no chips, cracks, crazing or repairs and with bright, unrubbed enamelling and gilding. The flowerwork is also excellent and almost fully intact.
The figure is marked to the base with underglaze blue Sitzendorf S below a Crown mark (1902-1972), see final image.
Height: 8” (20.25cm). Width: (at base) 4” (10cm). Depth: (at base) 3.75” (9.5cm).
The history of the town and people of Sitzendorf Germany goes back a long way and the history of Sitzendorf porcelain is just as long. A theology student called Georg Heinrich Macheleidt received permission from the regional prince in Germany to set up a porcelain manufacturing company in the small town of Sitzendorf.
In 1760, the first porcelain factory was established. It was moved to Volkstedt in 1762. The actual manufacturer of figurines began in the town of Sitzendorf in 1884 though the factory began working with porcelain in 1850. By 1809, the company had a second factory and had introduced steam power that helped them employ a total of 300 employees in two factories in a town with a population of 700. The factory remains in operation into the present day.
Sitzendorf porcelain is identified and valued by its year of manufacture. The year and the stamping on the porcelain indicate under which of the owner managers the piece was produced. Everything from the Macheleidt period would obviously be the most valuable (determined of course by condition).
There are several distinct periods in the management history of the factory. The porcelain manufacture was reestablished in Sitzendorf in 1850 by Wilhelm Liebmann who held control over the establishment until a fire in 1858 gutted the factory building and led him to retire. The factory was rebuilt and reopened under the Voigt brothers management.
Alfred and Carl ran things until 1896 when Albert Schonau ran the company as a public corporation with stock valued at a million German marks. This lasted until 1932 when the factory nearly collapsed under the weight of socioeconomic depression. Porcelain bearing indications of manufacture before 1932 are most prized by collectors. Post 1932 until the early 1970s marks another period which provides the market for the more recent and thus more accessible (and thus less valuable) porcelain pieces.
There are two leading indicator marks on genuine Sitzendorf porcelain. The blue crown over the letter S with a double cross slash mark is one and the double cross slash alone is the other. Both are in a deep blue and appear on all items from the Sitzendorf factory. There may be accompanying marks such as: “GERMANY” stamp on the bottom or a production number or code.
The marks represent three distinct stages in the life history of the Sitzendorf factory. The oldest mark includes the Germany stamp and dates from 1884 to 1896. The blue mark with the crown dates from 1902 to 1972 and the other blue mark dates from 1954 to the present day. The double slash mark alone is one of the earliest marks dating back to when the Voigts were in charge of production.
Dresden style porcelain is distinguished by the use of flowers, shells, fruits, leaves and scroll work. The actual porcelain is so white it is almost translucent and often includes a gold edging. Sitzendorf is just one of the German porcelain makers referred to as Dresden.
Most collectible among the Sitzendorf range of porcelain are the lace figurines first produced under the Voight owners beginning in the mid 1880s. The lace look was accomplished by dipping real fabric lace into porcelain and firing the result.