An ormolu-mounted pair of Roller Bird Figures, KPM Berlin
An ormolu-mounted pair of Roller Bird Figures, KPM Berlin
An ormolu-mounted pair of Roller Bird Figures, KPM Berlin
An ormolu-mounted pair of Roller Bird Figures, KPM Berlin
An ormolu-mounted pair of Roller Bird Figures, KPM Berlin
An ormolu-mounted pair of Roller Bird Figures, KPM Berlin
Left bird: 26.4 cm high with mounting / 22.5 cm (without.)
Right: 26.8 cm high with mounting / 23 cm (without.)

Model by Friedrich Elias Meyer.
Model no. 230.
Ormolu-mount by Henry Dasson, Paris.

The model of the roller is very rare. Up to now, no depiction of alike birds can be found in the expert literature. They can only be traced because of the model book of the Berlin manufactory, published by Georg Lenz in 1913 (Lenz I p. 29 = Köllmann / Jarchow I p. 308). Here they are mentioned in the category ‘birds’ with the model number 230:

'Rollers [Blaueraack], two companions, with A and B.'

But even Lenz was not able to show a depiction of these Berlin porcelain figures. The roller, especially the lilac-breasted, was called ‘Blaurack’ as a contemporary source show. The universal encyclopaedia by Johann Heinrich Zedler (which were also used by the Meissen modeler Johann J. Kaendler) describes the bird in volume IV column 51:

‘Blue=rack, almond=crow [roller] green=crow. It is a bird of the same size as the ‘nucifraga caryocatates’ [Eurasian nutcracker]. His body is coloured in light blue, his back is brownish. He does not breed here but comes at harvest time and eats rests of grains, of which he is able to swallow a lot.’

Considering that rollers could rarely be observed in Europe, it seems obvious that the Berlin modelers worked after coloured etchings, like e.g. Dürer’s famous drawing of a roller’s wing.

The birds are mounted on gilded pedestals bearing the signature of Henry Dasson (1825–1896), who at the time belonged to the most famous Ebenistes and bronze sculptorers in Paris. His workshop was situated in the rue Vieille-du-Temple, where he specialised in the production of Louis XIV, XV and XVI style furniture using the finest gilt-bronze mounts (Thieme-Becker, Wikipedia.)
good
Antonin, Daniela: ‘Phantasie und Natürlichkeit – Die Vögel im Spiegel zeitgenössischer Quellen.’ In ‘Kabinettstücke’ (Röbbig 2006.)

Köllmann, Erich / Jarchow, Margarete: ‘Berliner Porzellan.’ (Munich 1987.)

Lenz, Georg: ‘Berliner Porzellan: Die Manufaktur Friedrichs Des Grossen, 1763–1786.’ (Berlin 1913.)

Thieme-Becker: ‘Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künste von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart.’ 37 volumes from 1907–1950.
Dimensions
Height 26.80 cm (10.55 inches)
Stock Code
WE 2846
Elfriede Langeloh

Elfriede Langeloh
Am Michelsgrund 14
Weinheim
69469
Germany

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