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Miner: C.40-1954

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)




Factory: Meissen Porcelain Factory




Hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels and gilt

Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, red, purple, pale brown and black enamels and gilt; metal (not ferrous) head to pick. The flat, unglazed base has a ventilation hole centrally placed near the back.

The square low mound base rises up at the back into a pile of rocks which support the figure. The top of the base is strewn with applied flowers and leaves: a blue convolvulus with yellow centre and three leaves on the viewer's left: a white carnation with purple edges and three leaves between the figure's feet, and a purple and purple edged white flower with yellow stamens and two leaves on the right. The miner stands on his right leg with left advanced, He leans back slightly and in his right hand grasps the handle of a pick-axe, the head of which rests on his right shoulder. His left hand is extended a little way to the side. He wears black pillbox hat with a white upper edge, gold crossed picks on the front, and a green rosette on its left side. He has a short black coat with gold buttons down the front and on both sleeves, white knee breeches, black knee-caps, white stockings, and black shoes with gold buckles. Behind him he has a long curved apron with a pale brown leather lining secured in front with a black pouch, next to which is a case holding two gilded wedges.


History note: Purchased by the 2nd Lord Fisher of Kilverstone from Willy Lissauer in Berlin for £30 on 21 May 1933

Legal notes

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

Measurements and weight

Height: 19.6 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 1748


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. 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. This miner wears a black jacket with gold buttons and black cap which were worn for ceremonial occasions. His pose differs from the printed source in having the pick over his right shoulder and the palm of his left hand down, instead of up.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, red, purple, pale brown and black) gold
Visible Surfaces composed of glaze ( clear)
Base Depth 8 cm Width 7.9 cm

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulded : In blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, red, purple, pale brown and black enamels and gilt; metal (not ferrous) head to pick. The flat, unglazed base has a ventilation hole centrally placed near the back.

Inscription or legends present

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

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.40-1954
Primary reference Number: 140285
Model number: 1309
Old object number: 377
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 2 October 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 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 (2023) "Miner" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-30 08:31:49

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{{cite web|url= |title=Miner |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-09-30 08:31:49|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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Modern reproduction

Accession Number: CM.2877-2003

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