Artibus et Historiae no. 52 (XXVI)

2005, ISSN 0391-9064

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ELISABETH STURM-BEDNARCZYK - The Early Viennese Porcelain of Claudius Innocentius du Paquier

The first two hard-paste porcelain manufactories in Europe were established in Meissen(1710) and in Vienna(1718). In its early phase Viennese porcelain was at least as important as Meissen, and in this early period Vienna also played the leading role in the area of painted decoration. The recipe for the paste was not stolen from Meissen as it is always assumed, in Vienna a different chemical compound was used. A private individual, Claudius Innocentius du Paquier, was the founder of the Viennese porcelain manufactory. In Meissen the ?owner? was the King of Poland, the Elector of Saxony, Augustus the Strong. He provided the necessary financial support for the Meissen manufactory, whereas in Vienna only a special privilege but no financial assistance was granted to Du Paquier's manufactory by Charles VI. Thus, as the production of porcelain is a very costly and risky venture, the Viennese manufactory was threatened by financial shortages throughout its existence, until in 1744 Du Paquier had to give up and his company was taken over by the state. Since Du Paquier's porcelain had no mark, and changing fashions made it no longer sought after, in the course of time Du Paquier's name and porcelain fell into complete oblivion. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that once again the attention was drawn to Du Paquier's porcelain. Unfortunately, very little was published since then. My aim in this short essay is to stress what an important role this porcelain played in Europe in the early 18th century and to demonstrate with the aid of photographs how very fascinating it is.

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