The Porcelain Figurines of Johann Joachim Kändler

Meissen figures

Back in the 18th century, porcelain was a luxury. Not everyone was able to afford it, and the Europeans weren’t even able to produce it until the 18th century. China was the one with the receipt on how to create porcelain, and it was only when Johann Friedrich Böttger discovered the formula that the 1710 Meissen factory was born.

With that, the company was able to create some of the finest figurines ever, and some of them were the result of Johann Joachim Kändler’s skills. But who was he? Well, read on to find out.

Who Was Johann Joachim Kändler?

Johann Joachim Kändler was one of the sculptors who created porcelain figurines back in the 18th century. He was the most important modeler of the Meissen porcelain manufactory, and some of his works are very rare today.

His career began when he was working as an apprentice under Johann Benjamin Thomae, who was an important Dresden court sculptor. He was already skilled enough, which led to him being installed as a modeler at the Meissen porcelain manufactory. From there, his journey has begun, and he created some of the finest porcelain figurines of the time.

What Are Some Characteristics of His Work?

One of the things that would help you identify his work is probably the fact that his earlier sculptures were inspired by nature. That being said, his sculptures drew motifs from the natural world. He is known to have created various animal figurine groups, specifically bird sculptures, which are probably some of the most popular ones. Sculptures such as woodpeckers, jays, stag beetles, cockchafers and more have drawn attention to themselves.

Later, he took inspiration from the popular form of theatre – commedia dell’arte. So, with his co-workers, he created a set of small figurines that infused the romantic shepherd imagery of rococo with the life of Commedia dell’arte characters.

What Are Some of the Most Popular Figurines?

Some popular figurines created by Kändler were the Monkey Band and the Harlequins. The Monkey Band was created back in 1753, which he wanted to be seen as a metaphorical rejection of any compulsion type. With it, he created a piece that has never lost any of its popularity, and it’s even reproduced sometimes.

The Harlequins represent one of the pieces inspired by the Commedia dell’arte characters. Compared to his other figurines, this piece, in particular, gives a more evocative sense of this theater form.

How Valuable Are His Pieces?

Considering that his works are so rare nowadays, the figurines created by Johann Joachim Kändler hold a very special value. Their value can also increase depending on the item’s condition, but it will usually reach very high prices. Although the prices can go up to thousands of dollars, whoever buys one of his works will enjoy a rare piece that was created carefully by a reputable artist.

Final Thoughts

Johann Joachim Kändler was one special porcelain figurine artist, and his works are still popular to this day among porcelain figurine collectors. If you’re lucky enough and have some money to spend, you may end up owning a valuable item. Find out more about porcelain collections.