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Arts of Europe

The MFAH collections of art created on the European continent encompass artistic styles across the time line of history, from the ancient world to the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era to the 21st century.

Meissen Porcelain Manufactory
German, established 1710
Wärmeglocke (Covered Serving Plate) from the Möllendorff Service
c. 1761
Hard-paste porcelain

Warmeglocke: 7 1/2 x 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches
Plate: 1 1/2 x 10 3/8 x 10 1/4 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Rienzi Collection, bequest of Caroline Wiess Law

Arts of Europe

This wärmeglocke (warming bell) is part of a service that was ordered from the Meissen Porcelain Factory by Frederick the Great of Prussia during the Seven Years' War (1757–63). The molded design, comprising delicate flowers, armaments, and musical instruments, is attributed to the Prussian ruler himself. Frederick designed the service with Karl Jacob Christian Klipfel, a German who specialized in mosaic patterns (scalework).

The painted decoration on this service is rendered in iron red enamel, a signature color of the Meissen factory in the 18th century. Each piece in the elaborate service was handmade and hand-painted by the factory workers. The service is thought to have been a gift from Frederick to General Wichard Joachim Heinrich von Möllendorff, a field marshal in the Prussian army.