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Lute Player from the Saxon Silver-Miners Band (Bergsänger mit Laute): C.37-1954

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Lute Player from the Saxon Silver-Miners Band (Bergsänger mit Laute)


Factory: Meissen Porcelain Factory
Modeller: Kändler, Johann Joachim




Hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels

Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in green, yellow, flesh pink, dark pink, brown, grey, and black enamels, and gilt. The flat underside is unglazed and has a round ventilation hole under the support. The square, low mound base rises up at the back into a heap of rocks, and the front has three groups of applied leaves, the one on the viewer’s right surrounding a red, white and yellow flower. The luteplayer stands on his left foot with his right relaxed behind it. His mouth is open as he sings, and he leans back and turns slightly to his right, holding his lute in both hands. He has grey curling hair, over which is a pillbox hat with a green crown and pink sides decorated on the front with gold crossed picks, and on its left side with a yellow rosette. He wears a white coat with a pleated frill, and gold buttons down the front and on the sleeves, a white waistcoat, white breeches and stockings, black knee caps and black shoes with gold buckles. Behind him he has a long rounded black apron with a brown leather lining, secured at the front with a black pouch. The lute is brown with a black peg, and gold strings.


History note: Purchaed by the 2nd Lord Fisher of Kilverstone from Willy Lissauer, Berlin, on 5 May 193for £30

Legal notes

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

Measurements and weight

Depth: 8.7 cm
Height: 20 cm
Width: 9 cm

Relative size of this object

9 cm20 cm8.7 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Meissen ⪼ Saxony ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

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


Mid 18th Century
Circa 1748 - 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 Freerick Augustus to the Princess Maria Josepha von Habsburg. This particular figure is wearing a white costume worn for work and on Sundays. Green hats were favoured in the early 18th century, and black ones later. Miners who could not afford new ones were permitted to repair their hats by putting a linen band round the outside, usually pink, and known as 'boy' (see Documentation, Lehmann 2000 and 2003). 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,

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Visible Surfaces composed of glaze ( clear)
Decoration composed of enamel ( green, yellow, flesh pink, pink, red, brown, grey, and black) gold

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulded : Hard-paste porcelain press-moulded, and painted overglaze in green, yellow, flesh pink, pink, red, brown, grey, and black enamels, and gilt; the unglazed underside has a ventilation hole near the back

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: blurred

  • Text: crossed swords
  • Location: In middle of back edge of base
  • Method of creation: Painted underglaze in blue
  • Type: Factory mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.37-1954
Primary reference Number: 140272
Old object number: 376
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 2 October 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 22 March 2022

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 (2022) "Lute Player from the Saxon Silver-Miners Band (Bergsänger mit Laute)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-08 20:50:21

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