Meissen Flaschenständer, basketweave form, circa 1745
Rare pierced basketweave ‘Flaschenständer’ (wine bottle stand), the intricate openwork sides realistically representing overlapped double canes, the rims and foot simulating platted canes, the centre with a shell-shaped flourish, the whole picked out in gold.
Faint crossed swords mark to the unglazed foot,
23cm wide x 16cm high
ref. Schwanen service - p 108 for examples sold Sothebys 1997 This rare shape has a definite use: it is designed to support the Continental flagon bottle, the bocksbeutel. This was a bottle of oval form, from a distinctive region of Bavaria called Franconia. It could be partially encased in woven netting to ensure safe transport, and perhaps such a weaving has here been simulated in porcelain. Wines for the table would have been presented in such bottles, and the flaschenständer is an elegant solution to presenting such a bottle at the aristocratic dining table. However, this particular example may never have been used as such - one side has slumped in the kiln, due no doubt to the cutting out and resulting lack of support in the thin sections of remaining clay. It would never have been able to accommodate a bottle, and may never have been used. This would explain the fine condition of the piece.