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Emma (born Lazarus, born 17 . 2 . 1852 Hamburg, died 14 . 2 . 1937 Hamburg) & Henry Budge (banker, born 20 . 11 ​. 1840 Frankfurt a M., died 20 . 10 . 1928 Hamburg).

LONDON.- A host of historically important works highlight the Fine European Ceramics at New Bond Street on 18th June. Items from an important private collection of decorative arts, the Emma Budge Collection, are among the most notable lots in the sale and have a dark and fascinating story to tell. 

Emma and Henry Budge had returned to Germany in 1903 after Henry had made his fortune financing American railroads. They built a magnificent villa in Hamburg, along the grand Harvestehuder Weg, which they extended to included a Versaille style Hall of Mirrors. It became the venue of many philanthropic charity balls and became the centre of the city's cultural and social life and Emma Budge filled their home with fine antiques. The Budge's were advised by the Hamburg Museum's legendary curator, Justus Brinckmann, and by the First World War, Emma had amassed one of the most important decorative arts collections in Germany. 

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Budge Palais in Hamburg-Harvestehude.

When Henry died in 1928, Emma Budge had no children and had intended to leave her collection to the city of Hamburg - the city of her birth but changed her mind when the Nazi's came to power. Being from a Jewish family, her collection and estate was forcibly sold by the state and her heirs received none of the proceeds. 

In an effort to reclaim their heritage, lawyers of the Budge heirs have successfully persuaded museums to return objects to the family. Bonhams now offers for sale a collection of five pieces from the collection on behalf of the Budge heirs. The most valuable of these is a very rare pair of Höchst figures of Pantaloone and Pantalone from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752 which are estimated at £30,000-40,000. A rare Höchst figure (circa 1752) of La Scaramouche also from the Italian Comedy, is estimated to sell for £15,000-20,000. 

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A very rare pair of Höchst figures of Pantaloone and Pantalone from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752. Estimate £30,000 - 40,000 (€37,000 - 50,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Modelled by J.C.L. von Lücke, each wearing a fur-lined hat, long black coat and iron-red costume, Pantalone with a white kerchief and a dagger at his waist and red shoes, his companion wearing pale yellow shoes, both canted, flared rectangular pedestals moulded at the front with a recessed panel and embellished in gilding and with a tree-stump support at the rear, 21.7cm and 20.5cm high, wheel marks in iron-red to side of bases (minor chips and restoration) (2). 

Provenance: The Emma Budge Collection, Hamburg, sold by Hans W. Lange, Berlin, 27-29 September 1937, lots 849 and 850;
Acquired in the above auction by the city of Mainz;
Restituted to the heirs of Emma Budge in 2013

Literature: Mainzer Zeitschrift 1939, p. 103, pl. X,1;
Mittelrheinische Kunstwerke aus sechs Jahrhunderte, exhibition catalogue (1954), no. 35, ill. 24;
K.H. Esser, Höchster Fayencen und Porzellane (1962), ill. 10;
K.H. Esser/H. Reber, Höchster Fayencen und Porzellane (1964), p. 17, no. 18;
R. Jansen (ed.), Commedia dell'Arte (2001), p.150 (Pantaloone)

Exhibited:: Mainz, Landesmuseum, 1937-2013, inv. nos. 38/36 & 37
Mainz, Landesmuseum, Mittelrheinische Kunstwerke aus sechs Jahrhunderten, 1954;
Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace, Commedia dell'Arte Fest der Komödianten, 14 July-14 October 2001 (Pantaloone)

For a discussion of the models, the attribution to the modeller Johann Christoph Ludwig von Lücke, who was also active at the Meissen and Vienna factories, see Horst Reber, The Commedia dell'arte at the Höchst Factory, in R. Jansen (ed.), op. cit., pp. 39-43 (pp. 138-144 in the German language volume). The author suggests (p. 41) that the Höchst Italian Comedy figures of this series, and a series of Würzburg figures also on pedestals, were influenced by the statues that stood in the garden of the Schönborn Palais in Vienna through engravings of 1727 by Salomon Kleiner.

The rarity of both series of figures suggests that they were only ever produced in limited quantities, perhaps solely at the behest of the factories' respective rulers. These figures, and the figure of Scaramouche (see preceding lot), are among the finest examples of these Höchst figures, distinguished by the exceptionally fine decoration and use of gilding on the pedestals.

The figure of Pantalone is probably based on the engraving of 'Pantalon', published by Johann Jacob Wolrab, Nuremberg, circa 1720, whereas the female figure of Pantaloon may have been based on the male 'Pantalon' from an anonymous series of engravings, circa 1720 (both engravings illustrated in this catalogue).

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A rare Höchst figure of La Scaramouche from the Italian Comedy, circa 1752. Estimate £15,000 - 20,000 (€19,000 - 25,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Modelled by J.C.L. von Lücke, wearing a green hat with feathers, a purple-striped, short-sleeved jacket over a yellow bodice, white apron and green skirt, the gilt-edged, canted and flared rectangular base embellished in gilding, with a tree-stump support at the rear, 21cm high, wheel mark in iron-red to underside of base (minor damage and repair)

Provenance: The Emma Budge Collection, Hamburg, sold by Hans W. Lange, Berlin, 27-29 September 1937, lots 856;
Acquired in the above auction by the city of Mainz;
Restituted to the heirs of Emma Budge in 2013

Literature: Mainzer Zeitschrift 1939, p. 103, pl. X,4;
Mittelrheinische Kunstwerke aus sechs Jahrhunderte, exhibition catalogue (1954), no. 35, ill. 24;
K.H. Esser, Höchster Fayencen und Porzellane (1962), ill. 10;
K.H. Esser/H. Reber, Höchster Fayencen und Porzellane (1964), p. 17, no. 18;
R. Jansen (ed.), Commedia dell'Arte (2001), p.148, no. 146

Exhibited: Mainz, Landesmuseum, 1937-2013, inv. nos. 38/38;
Mainz, Landesmuseum, Mittelrheinische Kunstwerke aus sechs Jahrhunderten, 1954;
Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace, Commedia dell'Arte Fest der Komödianten, 14 July-14 October 2001

Probably based on the engraving of 'La Scaramouche', published by Johann Jacob Wolrab, Nuremberg, circa 1720 (illustrated in this catalogue). See footnote to following lot.

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A Höchst figure of a seated Oriental drinking tea, circa 1750-55. Estimate £2,000 - 3,000 (€2,500 - 3,700). Photo: Bonhams.

Wearing a cap, blue robe, puce trousers and yellow boots, seated on rockwork in front of a tree reaching for a teabowl beside a teapot on a pedestal and drinking from a bowl in his left hand, the base with lightly painted leaves in puce, 19.5 cm high (base restuck through middle, minor losses).

Provenance: The Emma Budge Collection, Hamburg

Literature: Mainzer Zeitschrift (1939), p. 103, pl. X,3;
K.H. Esser/H. Reber, Höchster Fayencen und Porzellane (1964), no. 61

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A Höchst figure of a putto, circa 1770. Estimate £2,000 - 3,000 (€2,500 - 3,700). Photo: Bonhams.

The putto reclining on rockwork topped with snowy grass, 8.5cm high, impressed wheel mark

Provenance: The Emma Budge Collection, Hamburg, sold by Hans W. Lange, Berlin, 27-29 September 1937, lot 873;
Acquired in the above auction by the city of Mainz;
Restituted to the heirs of Emma Budge in 2013

Literature: Mainzer Zeitschrift (1938), pp. 24-35, pl. V,3;
K.H. Esser/H. Reber, Höchster Fayencen und Porzellane (1964), no. 135

Exhibited: Mainz, Landesmuseum, 1937-2013, inv. nos. 37/46;
Mainz, Altertumsmuseum der Stadt Mainz, '4000 Jahre Kunsthandwerk im Mainzer Raum', 1953

Another extremely valuable item in the sale is exceptional piece of Vezzi porcelain superbly painted with a scene showing Venus and Adonis embracing dates from circa 1725. The vase is estimated to sell for £70,000-100,000. Only a handful of large Vezzi vases are recorded and this vase is one of the largest pieces of Vezzi porcelain known. The Vezzi factory was only in operation for a short period of time, and all surviving pieces are regarded as absolute rarities

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An important Vezzi vase painted by Ludovico Ortolani, circa 1725. Estimate £70,000 - 100,000 (€87,000 - 120,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Superbly painted in polychrome enamels with a continuous scene depicting, on one side, Procris and Cephalus, and on the reverse, Venus and Adonis embracing, separated by trees with a parrot perched on one branch and exotic birds in flight, 30cm high, A and C incised to the base, (y-shaped star haircrack to one side). 

The scenes are after engravings by Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630) of 1606, from a series illustrating Ovid's Metamorphoses, Metamorphoseon sive transformationum, published in Amsterdam by Willem Jansz between 1606 and 1620. The scenes are based on plate 96: 'Perdite a Venere adamatur Adonis (Venus and Adonis embracing, Bartsch XVII.151.733); and plate 70: 'Cephalus et iaculo inevitabili, et cane pernicissimo a Procride donatur' (Procris giving Cephalus a Dog and a Javelin, Bartsch XVII.151.707).

A bowl in the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham (inv. no. 1988.401/Cer., formerly in the Enid Goldblatt Collection, illustrated in this catalogue), is painted by Ortolani in the same style and palette with a related scene based on plate 69 of the same series by Antonio Tempesta, depicting Aurora and Cephalus.

A saucer in the British Museum (inv. no. Franks 450) painted in purple monochrome with a lady seated in a landscape accompanied by Cupid is the only recorded piece signed by Ludovico Ortolani and the basis for the attribution of a handful of pieces of Vezzi porcelain to the painter. The reverse is inscribed 'Lodouico Ortolani Veneto dipinse nella Fabrica di Porcelana, in Venetia.'; published by L. Melegati, Giovanni Vezzi e le sue Porcellane (1998), no. 69. A related teapot attributed to Ortolani in the Lokar Collection was published by Andreina d'Agliano (ed.), Italian porcelain in the Lokar collection (2013), cat.no. 20.

Only a handful of large Vezzi vases are recorded, all of different shapes and all smaller than the present one. The most widely-published is in the collection of the Palazzo Querini Stampalia in Venice, which is of a wide baluster shape with two handles and moulded stiff accanthus leaves. The decoration is in underglaze-blue with birds amongst flowering branches and polychrome strapwork. Another narrower baroque baluster vase is in the collection of the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow, decorated with large winged putti in underglaze-blue, picked out in gold. The closest in shape are the three vases now in the Ludwig Collection, Bamberg, most recently published by Regina Hanemann (ed.), Goldchinesen und indianische Blumen. Die Sammlung Ludwig in Bamberg (2010), no. 179, which were previously illustrated by Nino Barbantini, Le porcellane di Venezia e delle Nove (1936), tav. XII (see illustration).

A very rare and large maiolica plaque, dating from 1541 and painted in the workshop of Baldessare Manarais estimated to sell for £80,000-100,000. The painted scene is based on a print after Raphael's depiction of The Way to Calvary (now in the Prado Museum, Madrid)

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A very rare and large documentary Faenza maiolica rectangular plaque, dated 1541. Estimate £80,000 - 100,000 (€100,000 - 120,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Painted in the workshop of Baldessare Manara with a scene depicting The Road to Calvary, after Raphael, dated '1541' at the base, mounted in an elaborate walnut frame, probably third quarter 19th century, carved with foliate scrolls and flowers surmounted by the crest of the Earls of Breadalbane, the reverse of the frame inscribed: 'From the/ Collection of/ Prince Joseph Pornatowski', the plaque: 43cm by 34cm; the frame: 57cm by 42.5cm

The scene is based on a print after Raphael's depiction of The Way to Calvary for the Church of S. Maria dello Spasimo in Palermo (now in the Prado Museum, Madrid, J.H. Beck, Raphael (1994), col. pl. 16), perhaps via the engraving by Agostino Veneziano (Bartsch XIV, 193). The scene was also painted on an Urbino plaque, now in the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza, published by Carmen Ravanelli Guidotti, La Donazione Fanfani (1990), no. 120, col. pl. 235.

This plaque may be attributed to Faenza and the workshop of Baldessarre Manara, rather than Urbino. See Carmen Ravanelli Guidotti, Baldassarre Manara Faentino (1996) for details of houses, castles, trees and clouds that match the painting on this plaque very closely (especially pp. 53ff, for closely similar twig-like branches issuing from the tree foliage) and there attributed to Baldessare Manara and his workshop. The latest dated example of Manara's work published by Guidotti is an unsigned work of 1538, but the artist was still alive in 1546, so this plaque represents an important addition to the recorded documentary pieces.

A fragmentary label on the reverse is inscribed:
Questo [...] o/ Appassionato/ [...] in [...] croce in spalla/ fu fatto come si vede, l'anno/ 1541. Le pi[...] in Terra C[otta]/ in [..]riaf[..] simili à qu[esto?]/ e [...] [?]allera [...]/ [...] Vasari nelle Vi [=Vite]/ [...] 263 sul/ [...] Robbia,/ quale [...]/ Francia [...] a/ Girolamo suo [...]

Apart from a description of the subject, the last lines may be a reference to Girolamo Della Robbia, to whom Vasari refers at the end of his chapter on Della Robbia as moving to France to paint maiolica.

A second label is inscribed:
Appartement/ un/ Prince/ Joseph Poniatowski

Provenance: The frame gives some intriguing hints of the distinguished provenance of this plaque. There are two possible candidates among the Poniatowski family. The first, Prince Josef Antoni Poniatowski (1763-1813), was a nephew of Stanislaw August, the last king of Poland, and a famous general. His cousin Stanislaw Poniatowski (1754-1833) emigrated to Italy, where he lived in Florence in the Palazzo Poniatowski. Property of his, and apparently from his cousin Josef, was sold by Christie's in three sales in February 1839: works of art, including 'Raffaelle Ware', as maiolica was known at the time, was offered on February 7th (although the present lot is not listed in the catalogue); the picture gallery the following day; and the cabinet of antique gems was offered between 29 April and 21 May.

The second - more likely - possibility is that the plaque belonged to Stanislaw Poniatowski's son, Joseph Poniatowski (1816-73), who, although born out of wedlock, was awarded the title Prince Poniatowski by the Austrian Emperor in 1850. He moved to Paris as a Minister Plenipotentiary of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and subsequently to England, where he died in 1873.

It is not certain which Marquess or Earl of Breadalbane acquired the plaque and commissioned the elaborate wooden frame bearing his crest. The plaque passed to The Hon. Caroline Mary Morgan Grenville (1886-1972), a granddaughter of the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (whose mother, Lady Mary, was the daughter of the 4th Earl and 1st Marquess of Breadalbane), and thence by descent.

Another survivor of the World War is a Meissen large oval tray from the famous Swan Service, circa 1740. It is modelled by J.F. Eberlein and estimated at £30,000-50,000. The dish is moulded with swans swimming amidst bulrushes and holds a gilt-edged border painted with the arms of Brühl and Kolowrat-Krakowska. The Swan Service was made in 1737-43, and it eventually numbered more than 2,200 pieces. The Swan Service of Meissen porcelain was almost destroyed at the end of the Second World War. At the end of World War II, the remaining pieces of the Swan Service were scattered amongst collectors and museums

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A Meissen large oval tray from the Swan Service, circa 1740. Estimate £30,000 - 50,000 (€37,000 - 62,000). Photo: Bonhams.
Modelled by J.F. Eberlein, moulded with swans swimming amidst bulrushes, a heron to the left and another in flight overhead, the shell-moulded gilt-edged border painted with the arms of Brühl and Kolowrat-Krakowska and with scattered indianische Blumen, a gilt-edged bulrush handle on either side, 35cm long, crossed swords mark in underglaze-blue and impressed numeral 27 (small repair to right handle, very small chips to handles). 

The Swan Service was ordered in 1736 for the director of the Meissen manufactory, Heinrich Graf von Brühl (1700-1763). A manufactory report of May 1736 states that: 'Ein neues Taffel Servis vor des H. Geh. Cabinet Minister von Brühl Excellenz von ganz neuer Façon verlanget worden sei' [a new table service was ordered for His Excellency the Privy Cabinet Minister von Brühl of entirely new design]. Almost every piece is painted with the marriage arms of Brühl and his wife, Maria Anna Franziska von Kolowrat-Krakowska (1712-1762), who married in April 1734.

The service originally comprised over 2,200 pieces, of which most remained in the family's possession until the Second World War. From around 1880, pieces were lent to museums in Dresden and Berlin or passed to collectors, so that by 1900 only 1,400 pieces remained at the family's Silesian seat, Schloss Pförten. These remaining pieces were either destroyed along with the castle, or stolen, at the end of the Second World War.

Other examples are in the Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, the Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw, the Museum für angewandte Kunst, Cologne and the Ernst Schneider Collection in Schloss Lustheim, near Munich (illustrated in U. Pietsch (ed.), Schwanenservice - Meissener Porzellan für Heinrich Graf von Brühl (2000), p.155, no. 25). An unpainted version is in the collection of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg. One dish sold at Christie's London, 12 May 2010, lot 80.

See Pietsch, op. cit., for a comprehensive discussion of the service, and Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, From Barlow to Büggel, in Keramos, 119 (1988), pp. 54-68, for a discussion of the graphic sources.