Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 9

Lovely Late 19th Century Gilt Bronze-Mounted German K.P.M. Porcelain Desk

$125,000

About

A lovely late 19th century gilt bronze-mounted German K.P.M. porcelain desk Decorated all-over with porcelain plaques painted with scenes of courting couples, the upper section with a central cupboard door mounted with a square plaque and nine surrounding drawers, the lower section with shaped top inset with three frieze drawers, each of the corners with a male figure emerging from a scrolled volute, above four tapering fluted and floral-painted porcelain legs with four putti, attached by a stretcher centered with a scantily-clad woman.

Details

  • Creator
    KPM Porcelain (Cabinetmaker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 56 in. (142.24 cm)Width: 41 in. (104.14 cm)Depth: 30 in. (76.2 cm)
  • Style
    Belle Époque (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1880
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Some chips to the porcelain. Professionally repaired. Antiques like this always have age cracks and small repairs.
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 79681stDibs: LU90567611443

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more

About KPM Porcelain (Cabinetmaker)

The Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin, or KPM (Royal Porcelain Factory, Berlin, in English) was one of the most influential porcelain factories to emerge in 18th-century Germany, along with Nymphenburg and Meissen. KPM was the third incarnation of a company originally founded in 1751 by Wilhelm Caspar Wegely to take advantage of the burgeoning market for “white gold.” On the verge of bankruptcy, Wegely sold his inventory and tools to Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky, who in 1761 established another porcelain factory, which also failed, and was subsequently taken over by Frederick II of Prussia in 1763. Like Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, the patron of Meissen and a keen collector who described himself as suffering (quite happily) from “porcelain sickness,” Frederick II was proud to refer to himself as KPM’s “best customer.” KPM produces china and figurines to this day, and throughout its long history, it has been a style-setter for elegant tableware, particularly in the 1930’s, the period during which their popular patterns Urbino, Urania and Arkadia were designed.


Thanks to its royal patronage, KPM had the resources and contacts necessary to establish itself as a leading luxury producer, and supplied Russian and European elites with tableware in the Rococo and Neoclassical styles, as well as monumental vases, and decorative plaques. Many of these objects can be found today in major museums as a result of Frederick II’s penchant for sending KPM porcelain as diplomatic gifts throughout Europe. Unlike Meissen, which was known for crafting porcelain sculptures of dazzling complexity, KPM is revered for the precision and splendor of its surface decoration, and for its porcelain plaques depicting scenes from history and mythology. One especially lovely example circa 1790 is a neocalssical-style tea service decorated with gold accents and a grisaille design of figures from the ancient world. By contrast, this boldly colorful narrative cup and saucer set from the 1840’s depicts scenes from real life as colorfully as a painting. The set was commissioned by a gentleman for his wife as a tongue-in-cheek gift commemorating her misadventures while in town for a visit to the opera, which resulted in her opera glasses being stolen. The saucer shows the thief and the glasses, and the cup reveals the scene of the crime in vivid hues.


KPM was forced to move from its original location in 1867 due to the building of the new Prussian Parliament building, and this afforded the company the opportunity to to create a new factory with the newest equipment and materials of the day. With the growing popularity of Art Nouveau and the western fascination with Asian ceramics, KPM began formulating glazes that evoked the color palette and rich surfaces of Chinese porcelain. By the turn of the century, KPM was exhibiting its wares to a global audience at international expositions. At the end of World War I with the collapse of the Prussian monarchy, KPM was renamed the State Porcelain Manufactory Berlin, continuing to use the name KPM and its use of the cobalt blue sceptre mark that is painted on the bottom of every piece.


By the late 1920’s, the designers and craftsmen of KPM were inspired by the tenets of Modernism, particularly the styles of the Bauhaus and the Deutscher Werkbund. During this period, the firm’s aim was to produce useful household porcelain for a range of consumers, rather than catering to a small elite. Among the most successful patterns of this era was designer Trude Petri’s Urbino line, which is still produced today. Following World War II, KPM was temporarily housed in the town of Selb, and only returned to its rebuilt quarters in Berlin in 1957. In the 1980s, KPM became an private company independent of the state, and began to focus production on the preservation of historic forms, designs, and techniques. KPM continues to collaborate with designers from all over the world, most recently on the Berlin dinnerware service with designer Enzo Mari, and a collaboration with the luxury brands Bottega Veneta and Bugatti.

About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Vetted Seller
Our team of world-class specialists approve every seller on 1stDibs.
Established in 1924
1stDibs seller since 2010
30 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
Associations
The Art and Antique Dealers League of AmericaAntiques Associations Members
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

19th Century Empire Gilt Bronze Mounted Mahogany Desk after Jacob-Desmalter
By Alfred Emmanuel Louis Beurdeley, François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter
Located in Belgium, BE
Category

Antique 1870s French Empire

Materials

Bronze, Leather, Mahogany

Secretary Desk, Germany, 19th Century
Located in Wrocław, Poland
Category

Antique 19th Century German Biedermeier

Materials

Cherry

19th Century Empire Bronze Mounted Antique Davenport Desk
Located in Stamford, CT
Category

Antique 1890s Empire

Materials

Bronze, Wood

Fine Italian 19th Century Floral Marquetry Gilt Bronze-Mounted Center Table Desk
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

Antique 19th Century Italian Baroque

Materials

Bronze, Mahogany, Satinwood, Tulipwood

German Biedermeier '19th Century' Kneehole Desk
Located in New York, NY
Category

Antique 19th Century German Biedermeier

Materials

Bronze, Mahogany

Biedermeier Secretary Desk, Germany, 19th Century
Located in Wrocław, Poland
Category

Antique 19th Century German Biedermeier

Materials

Cherry

French 19th Century Louis XV Style Gilt Bronze-Mounted Kingwood Bureau Plat Desk
By H. Conquet
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

Antique 19th Century French Louis XV

Materials

Bronze, Leather, Kingwood, Walnut

French 19th Century Louis XV Style Kingwood Gilt-Bronze Mounted Bureau Plat Desk
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

Antique 19th Century French Louis XV

Materials

Bronze, Leather, Kingwood, Tulipwood

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery