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Sultana Asseki: C.41-1954

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Sultana Asseki


Factory: Meissen Porcelain Factory
Modeller: Kändler, Johann Joachim




Hard-paste porcelain painted in polychrome enamels, and gilt

Hard-paste porcelain painted in blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, dark pink, dark mauve, red, and greyish-brown enamels and gilt. The concave underside is glazed except for a flat area round the edge and has a round ventilation hole below the figure. The low rocky base rises up a little at the back to support the figure, and is strewn with applied yellowish-green leaves and a yellow, a blue and a pink flower at the front, and a small yellow and a pink at the back. The Sultana leans back slightly, standing on her right foot with her left behind her. With her right hand she toys with a tress of her long greyish-brown hair. Her left hand is extended a little way in front of her. On her head she has a closely wound white cloth which is looped up at the back. Over a white chemise she wears a long pale yellow robe decorated with sprays of dark mauve flowers and foliage, which is fastened above the waist with two gold buttons, and has a dark pink collar and flaps at the wrists. Over this she has a long blue short-sleeved coat with white fur edging and lining. Around her waist she has a wide, jewelled red belt, and on her feet, red slippers


History note: Willy Lissauer, Berlin from whom purchased on 23 March, 1935 for £55 by Cecil Vavasseur, 2nd Baron Fisher of Kilverstone; Lord and Lady Fisher

Legal notes

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

Measurements and weight

Height: 22.2 cm
Width: 11.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Meissen ⪼ Saxony ⪼ Germany
  • Dresden ⪼ Saxony ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, Mid
Circa 1749 CE - 1750 CE


During the 18th century Europeans were fascinated by the exotic costumes and customs of the Ottoman Empire, and their interest was stimulated by the publication of illustrated books on costume and other topics. Amongst the best known of these was the Comte de Ferriol’s 'Receuil de cent estampes representant différentes nations du Levant. . . Paris, 1714. Another edition was printed in 1715, and a smaller German edition in two volumes with some plates reversed 'Wahrest und neueste Abbildung des Türchisches Hofes' was published by Christoph Weigel at Nuremberg in 1719, and 1721 (with Der in front of title). The plates in the 'Receuil' were engraved by several artists from drawings made in 1707 and 1708 by Jean-Baptiste Vanmour (1671-1737), who was a member of de Ferriol’s entourage during the ten years from 1699 which he spent as Louis XIV’s Ambassador to the Sublime Porte. They depicted the Sultan, his Court and the various people of the Ottoman Empire who frequented Istanbul. The Sultana Asseki (the title given to the Sultan’s second wife who had borne a son) Meissen model no. 1287, corresponds to pl. 3 in Weigel, vol. I, 1719 which is in reverse to the original pl. 3 in the Receuil of 1714 or 1715.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, dark pink, dark mauve, red, and greyish-brown) gold
Base Depth 10.8 cm

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, painted in in blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, dark pink, dark mauve, red, and greyish-brown enamels, and gilt
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: blurred

  • Text: small crossed swords
  • Location: On back lower edge of base
  • Method of creation: Painted underglaze in blue
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: two illegible letters underlined with below 'D H'
  • Location: On glazed underside
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in pale brown
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: F
  • Location: On glazed underside
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: circular white paper label with serrated edge

  • Text: printed in red, the Fisher crest with 'No.' (o raised) below, and hand-written in black '417'
  • Location: On unglazed edge of base
  • Method of creation: Printed in red and hand-written in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.41-1954
Primary reference Number: 131051
Model number: 1287
Old object number: 400
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 2 October 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 19 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) "Sultana Asseki" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-15 09:54:26

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{{cite web|url= |title=Sultana Asseki |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-15 09:54:26|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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