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General Inspector of Mines (Oberberghauptmann): C.34-1954

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


General Inspector of Mines (Oberberghauptmann)


Maker: Meissen Porcelain Factory
Modeller: Kändler, Johann Joachim




Hard-paste porcelain painted overglaze in enamels, and gilt.

Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, painted in blue, bluish-green, green, yellow, flesh pink, red, mauve, pale brown, grey, and black enamels, and gilt. The flat unglazed base has a circular ventilation hold in the centre. The square rocky base rises up into a low mound of rocks at the back which supports the figure. On the top there are applied leaves and flowers: one mauve and white with two leaves: one yellow with mauve centre and one leaf; two blue and white with three leaves and one leaf on the side of the heap of rocks. The Mine Commandant stands on his right leg with his left advanced. He turns his head to his left, and has his left arm bent with the hand on his hip, and his right extended in front holding an axe with a short handle. He has a long curling brownish-grey wig falling down over his right shoulder and back, and wears a bluish-green pillbox hat with a turned up flap at the front inscribed AR (Augustus Rex) in mongram in gold, and a gold edging. He wears a white coat with a pleated rill, gold buttons and edgings, a red waistcoat with gold buttons, white breches and stockings, black knee caps, and black shoes with gold buckles. Behind he wears a long curved black leather apron with a pale brown leatherlining, securing in front under a black pouch, and a holder with two wedges. A sword with a gold hilt is slung on his left sideby a mauve ribbon.


History note: Purchased by the 2nd Lord Fisher of Kilverstone on 11 April 1935 from Willy Lissauer, Berlin, for £100

Legal notes

Given by Lord and Lady Fisher through the National Art Collections Fund

Measurements and weight

Depth: 9 cm
Height: 21.4 cm
Width: 10.7 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1954-01-14) by Fisher, Lord and Lady


18th Century, Mid
Production date: circa AD 1750


Mining was one of the most important industries in Saxony and a major source of revenue. The parade costumes of the various ranks of Saxon miners were recorded in a set of drawings by H.C. Fehling which were engraved by Christoph Weigel and published at Nuremburg in 1721 with the title 'Abbildung und Beschreibung derer sämtlichen Bergwerks Beamten und Bedienten nach ihrem gewöhnlichen Rang und Ordnung in behörigen Berg-Habit' (Illustration and description of the costumes of all the mine officers and employees according to their customary rank and class).They commemorated the participation of the miners in the festivities which took place in Dresden in 1719 to celebrate the marriage of Prince Frederick Augustus to the Princess Maria Josepha von Habsburg. Painted mining scenes occur on Meissen tablewares, and Augustus III, who took a keen interest in mining, commissioned pieces of this type. About 1748-50 Kaendler modelled a set of eight figures of which seven were inspired by Weigel’s prints. The exact date is not known because the factory records of the modellers’ work are missing between 1748 and 1764. In this set the figures are standing, on a square mound base strewn with flowers, and not shown working as some later figures of miners were. They wear either white uniforms which were worn for work and for going to church on Sunday or their black parade dress. This figure was model no. 1336.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, yellow, green, bluish-green, flesh pink, red, pale brown, grey, and black) gold

Materials used in production

clear Glaze
Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in blue, yellow, green, bluish-green, flesh pink, red, pale brown, grey, and black enamels, and gilt
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: crossed swords
  • Location: At the back of the base
  • Method of creation: Painted underglaze in blue
  • Type: Factory mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.34-1954
Primary reference Number: 131045
Model number: 1336
Old object number: 372
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 22 March 2022 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "General Inspector of Mines (Oberberghauptmann)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-22 19:02:38

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