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Saxon Silver Miner (Untersteiger or Trogträger): C.39-1954

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Saxon Silver Miner (Untersteiger or Trogträger)


Maker: Meissen Porcelain Factory
Modeller: Kändler, Johann Joachim




Hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels, and gilt

Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in green, yellow, flesh pink, red, purple, pale brown, grey and black enamels, and gilt. The flat underside is unglazed. The low, square rocky base rises up at the back into a low mound of rockswhich supports the figure, and is decorated on the top in front of him with three applied flowers each between two leaves, and on the left, three leaves. The miner stands with his right leg forward, his right hand holding a tray of ore on his left shoulder, and his left hand holding a small pick by his side. He has grey curly hair, and a black pillbox hat with a white upper border, gold crossed picks on the front, and yellow rosette on the proper left side. He wears a white frill round his neck, a black short coat with gold buttons down the front and on the sleeves, white breeches, black knee caps, white stockings and black shoes with gold buttons. Behind him, he has a long curved black apron with a pale brown leather lining, secured in front by a black pouch, next to which is a holder containing two brown and gold wedges. A sword (end of scabbard missing) with a gold handle is slung on a white strap on his left side.


History note: Purchased by the 2nd Lord Fisher of Kilverstone from Willy Lissauer, Berlin, on 6 April 1933 for £30.

Legal notes

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

Measurements and weight

Height: 21.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Meissen ⪼ Saxony ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, Mid
Circa 1745 - Circa 1750


Mining was one of the most important industries in Saxony and a major source of revenue. The ceremonial 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 BergwerksBeamten und Bedienten nach ihrem gewöhnlichen Rang und Ordnung in behörigen Berg-Habit' (Illustration and escription 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. About 1748-50 Kaendler and Reinicke 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 were. The miners wore black costumes for parades on festive occasions. This figure was model no. 1325

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel 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 green, yellow, flesh-pink, a little dark puce, red, pale brown, greyish-brown, and black enamels, and gilt
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: blurred crossed swords

  • Location: On back edge of base to left of centre
  • Method of creation: Painted underglaze in blue
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: Fisher crest printed in red and No. with 378 hand-written in black

  • Text: No. printed in red, 378 in black ink
  • Location: On underside of base
  • Method of creation: Printed in red and hand-written in black ink
  • Type: Label
  • Text: F
  • Location: On underside of base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black ink
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: 268
  • Location: On edge of underside of base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in pencil
  • Type: Number

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.39-1954
Primary reference Number: 131048
Model number: 1325
Old object number: 378
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 2 October 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Saxon Silver Miner (Untersteiger or Trogträger)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-19 07:54:53

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{{cite web|url= |title=Saxon Silver Miner (Untersteiger or Trogträger) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-19 07:54:53|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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