Skip to main content

Superintendent or Chief Inspector of the Saxon Silver Miners (Berghauptmann): C.35-1954

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Superintendent or Chief Inspector of the Saxon Silver Miners (Berghauptmann)


Factory: Meissen Porcelain Factory
Modeller: Kändler, Johann Joachim
Modeller: Reinicke, Peter




Hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels and gilt

Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in bluish-green, yellowish-green, yellow, flesh pink, pale red, mauve, pale brown, grey and black enamels, and gilt. The flat underside is unglazed and has a circular ventilation hole below the support near the back. The square, low rocky base rises up at the viewer's left of the back into a pile of rocks. The top is decorated with applied flowers each with three yellowish-green leaves: a white, mauve and yellow carnation on the viewer's left, and at centre front, and a yellow with black centre on the right. The mine superintendant stands on his left foot with his right turned outwards beside it and his left knee relaxed. He turns towards his right, and leans back slightly. In his right hand he holds a small gold axe. and in his left, a bluish-green pillbox hat with a gold-bordered flap on the front and a yellow rosette on its left side. He has a long pale grey curling wig which falls down onto his shoulders, and wears a short white jacket with pleated flounce, and gold edgings and buttons down the front and on the sleeves, white breeches and stockings, black knee caps, and black shoes with gold buckles. Behind he wears a large curved black leather apron with a pale brown leather lining, secured in front under a black pouch.


History note: Purchased by the 2nd Lord Fisher of Kilverstone from Willy Lissauer, Berlin, May 5, 1933 for £40

Legal notes

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

Measurements and weight

Height: 21 cm
Width: 9.5 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
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. However, this model (no. 1340) does not conform closely to the pose of 'Der Berghauptman' 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.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( bluish-green, yellowish-green, yellow, flesh pink, pale red, mauve, pale brown, grey and black) gold
Visible Surfaces composed of glaze ( clear)
Base Depth 8 cm

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: crossed swords, very blurred
  • Location: On lower back edge of base behind rocks
  • Method of creation: Painted underglaze in blue
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: circular white paper label with serrated edge

  • Text: the Fisher crest printed in red with 'No.' (o raised) below, followed by '373' hand-written 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

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.35-1954
Primary reference Number: 140269
Old object number: 373
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 2 October 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 12 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) "Superintendent or Chief Inspector of the Saxon Silver Miners (Berghauptmann)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-18 00:12:26

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Superintendent or Chief Inspector of the Saxon Silver Miners (Berghauptmann) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-18 00:12:26|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...