A Neoclassical Three Piece Silver Coffee and Tea Set, Property of Thurn and Taxis
With an accurate, strict but decorative design, this fine set of silver coffee and tea is a very elegant ensemble of the neoclassical style. The foot and body of the pots are left plain and a profiled frieze with stylised acanthus leaves in a wavy pattern complement very well the spout, which is half-decorated with acanthus leaves. Around the lid, a wheat-frieze announces playfully the vaulted hinged-cover adorned with acanthus leaves again and a finial in the form of a covered urn. The ear-shaped ebony handle is applied on the one side of the pots. All objects with the coat of arms of Thurn and Taxis.
The set stems from the Thurn and Taxis Collection.
Karl Alexander von Thurn and Taxis (1770-1827) was the fifth prince of Thurn and Taxis. He was son of Karl Anselm of Thurn and Taxis and Duchess Auguste Elisabeth of Württemberg (1734-1787). As his father died in 1805, Carl Alexander became nominal Generalpostmeister of the Imperial Reichspost, until the resignation of Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. As a consequence, Karl Alexander headed a private post company, the Thurn-and-Taxis-Post.
After his studies in the Universities of Strasbourg, Würzburg and Mainz and a Grand Tour, he got married in 1789 to Duchess Therese of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, daughter of Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg and his wife Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt, with whom he had seven children. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Principality of Thurn and Taxis lost its independence. As a compensation, the House Thurn and Taxis received the Imperial Abbey of St. Emmeram and other territories in Regensburg, Bavaria.
Maker: Johann Christian Neuss, Protestant, was born in 1740. He became a master in 1766 and the following year he married Sibylla Barbara Bruglocher. He died in 1803.
Several fine works have survived from the hands of J. C. Neuss, namely two wine coolers from the “Kharkov Service” (1781-1783), made for Catherine the Great (in the Kremlin Museum, Moscow), as well as coffee pots and services.