Look at this exceptionally well-skilled sculpture of Meissen porcelain monkey band figure is shown playing a trumpet. Notice the beautiful glaze and exceptionally hand painted details, especially the tiny floral motifs on the waistcoat. Look at the wig that the monkey is wearing over its brown fur. The white colored wig has tiny markings that seem to mimic hair and is clearly visible. Look at the white colored waistcoat along with the beautifully glazed turquoise blue overcoat. The monkey is dressed in a typical 19th century dress , with tight violet colored pants that has an inherent pattern in darker shade. Notice the tiny details on the feet, the curve of the coat, and the facial fur of the monkey which has been done so delicately. The gilded buttons and the edge of the coat have beautifully enhanced the look of the figurine.
Notice the tree stump on which the monkey is sitting and the shades of the bark that can be seen from between his feet. The gloved hands are bent- one at the waist and the other one are wrapped around the trumpet. Notice the green holder for the golden trumpet and the way the monkey is blowing into the musical instrument. The tiny details, exquisite workmanship and hand painted designs are a class apart. Meissen porcelain figurines are a class apart and only the best modelers were allowed to craft the pieces. The high quality porcelain and glaze is one of the kinds of the 19th century and that is evident with the preservation of colors, polish and finish. Notice the swirls and waves at the base, which adds style and color to the figurine.
Crossed swords mark to underside of base. Painter:15
Date (Guaranteed) : circa 1860-70
Height : 5″ (12.8cm)
In 1733, the sculptor Johann Joachim Kändler became the chief modeler at the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, a position he held until his death in 1775. Kändler, along with his assistant Peter Reinicke, devised novel and innovative forms and figures for Meissen porcelain. One of the most admired products of the factory were the monkey bands, witty examples of 18th-century singerie: subjects in which monkeys literally “ape” the behavior of supposedly more sophisticated humans. The first version of the monkey band was designed in 1753 and Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France and a discerning patron of the arts, ordered a set at Christmas of that year. The group was so popular that it was reissued in the early 1760s. The Art Institute’s monkey band comes from this second edition. In addition to a conductor and two female singers, the orchestra consists of musicians playing wind, string, and percussion instruments. There are also two instruments that were associated with rustic rather than courtly music: the bagpipe and the hurdy gurdy, in which the sound is produced by turning a hand crank that rotates a wheel that bows a set of strings.