University Museums

Title: Handkiss Group
Name: Figurine
Date: 19th century
Medium: Porcelain
Country/Culture: German
Dimensions: 7 1/4 × 10 1/8 in. (18.4 × 25.7 cm) Other: 7/8 in. (2.2 cm)
Marks: Meissen trademark in underglaze blue. 398. incised into base. 98 or 86 impressed into base, near incised number.
Classification: Decorative Arts, Ceramics
Credit Line: Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: 2.6.52
More Information
Johann Joachim Kaendler began as a modeler at Meissen in 1731, and by 1733 he was appointed model master, a position he held for forty-two years. His first works were large animal forms for Augustus the Strong's royal palace in Dresden. Kaendler became known for outstanding sculptural work in porcelain, including his crinoline groups.

These figures, erroneously named for the women's skirts (eighteenth-century skirts were actually supposed by hoops rather crinoline as in the nineteenth century) not only showed impassioned scenes, but also offered Kaendler an opportunity to poke fun at some of the peculiarities of the upper class. This figure grouping was recast in the nineteenth century, one of eighteen original pulls, as was common with Meissen. Due to advancements in technology, nineteenth-century porcelain was of better quality, requiring less color as camouflage for imperfections. Glazes became more translucent and hues were better suited to nineteenth- century Victorian tastes.