This guéridon is listed in the Royal account book of Friedrich Wilhelm III King of Prussia as a gift for Maria Anna Leopoldina Princess of Bavaria, future Queen of Saxony and sister of Elisabeth Ludovika Princess of Bavaria, future Queen Consort of Prussia. A detailed ledger at the Berlin KPM Archive (Pret II, Contobuch Sr. Maj. des Königs 1818-1850, p. 178, ID 182) describes this guéridon as follows:\n\n"Eintrag vom 7.Mai 1831 Für Ihre Königl. Hoheit die Prinzessin Marie von Bayern\n\n1 große runde Tischplatte, in der Mitte mit coul: Muscheln und Schmetterlinge in Gold med: umgeben von coul: Früchten und Blumen (295 Taler)\n1 schwarzgebeiztes Tischgestell mit bronze Verzierungen (130 Taler)\nPro 2 Kisten und Verpackung in Linnen nebst Verpackung für die Frau Oberhof Meisterin Ihrer Majestät der Königin von Bayern."\n\nAt the same time this table was presented to Maria Anna Leopoldina Princess of Bavaria, another guéridon was delivered for her mother, Caroline Queen of Bavaria (1776-1840) mother-in-law of the Prussian Crown Prince, later King William IV of Prussia. That table, now in the Thurn und Taxis Museum, Regensburg, has an almost identical stand and supports a KPM top with a comparable flower border signed and dated E. Sager 1829. The cost of the table presented to “die verwitwete Königin von Bayern” was 400 Taler, whereas the present guéridon cost 425 Taler.\n\nThis guéridon, with its prominent anthemia, demonstrates the influence of the French Empire style on international design and the oeuvre of the architect and designer Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). Schinkel set the stylistic tone in Prussia and worked closely together with the Berlin porcelain manufactory. By the early nineteenth century designers moved away from a somber interpretation of Greek and Roman references in order to create a bold Napoleonic Empire style that had a profound effect on artists and craftsmen across Europe in the 1820s and 1830s. The impetus for this new classicism was largely the Recueil de décoration intérieure by Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine published in installments from 1801 to 1811. Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Leo von Klenze (1784-1864) were heavily influenced by Percier and Fontaine’s work, though both veered more toward a Grecian paradigm, in part as a reaction to the French Empire style, which was more of an interpretation of Roman models. The above ledger describes the present table as having an ormolu-mounted ebonized stand: "schwarzgebeiztes Tischgestell mit bronze Verzierungen." The original black decoration is still visible underneath the current white paint, which undoubtedly must have been applied slightly later in the nineteenth century, possibly in order to match the guéridon with the white and gold color schemes used by Leo von Klenze that were extremely fashionable in the second quarter of the nineteenth century in Munich.\n\nKönigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur, Berlin\n\nThe Berlin porcelain manufactory was founded in 1751 by Wilhelm Kasper Wegely and was later acquired by Frederick the Great in 1763. The company has been state-run since. It produced opaque hard-paste porcelain table wares decorated with landscapes, figures and naturalistic flowers, and employed craftsmen that also worked at Meissen. Shortly after 1770 the manufactory began using a different type of kaolin that led to the production of cold white porcelain in simpler forms. Under the patronage of Friedrich Wilhelm II from 1786 onwards, Neoclassicism was gradually replaced by the Empire style, which was characterized by heavy use of gilding, by the early nineteenth century. From 1821 the Department of Painting was run by three craftsmen: Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Maywald (1776-1842) in charge of decoration, Gustav Friedrich AmaliusTaubert (1755-1839) in charge of figures and landscapes and Gottfried Völker (1775-1849) in charge of flower painting. Völker, who was also a member of the academy and earned a reputation as an influential oil painter of flower and fruit still lives, was the teacher of Ernst Wilhelm Sager (1788-1837), one of the most outstanding flower painters at KPM from 1825 onward. Sager, who decorated the top of Queen Caroline’s abovementioned table, was also known as an accomplished master painter of vedute, genres scenes and still lives.\n\nSchloss Biederstein\n\nMaximilian I, King of Bavaria (1756-1825) commissioned Schloss Biederstein as a summer residence for his wife Caroline Queen of Bavaria in 1803. After her husband’s death in 1825, Queen Caroline used the palace as a dowager house. In 1830 the dowager queen moved from Biederstein to a new neoclassical palace erected in the Schlosspark according to designs by court architect Leo von Klenze (1784-1864). Palace Biederstein was eventually demolished in 1934, four years after its contents had been sold at auction in 1930.\n\nWe gratefully thank the Prussian Palace and Garden Foundation; KPM archives (State of Berlin) for supplied information.\n\nComparative Literature:\n\nDr. Ilse Baer, Table Tops from the Berlin manufactory (KPM) from the first half of the Nineteenth Century, The International Ceramics Fair and Seminar Handbook, 2001, pp. 15-16.