MEISSEN THIMBLE WITH IRISH COAT OF ARMS
The Meissen MacElligot thimble to be sold at Bonhams. (click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THE THIMBLE FAILED TO SELL.
A tiny porcelain thimble decorated with the coat of arms of an Irish aristocrat, the only recorded armorial thimble created at the Meissen factory, is a feature at the concluding part of the sale of The Hoffmeister Collection of Meissen Porcelain at Bonhams in London on November 24. Worth far, far more than its weight in gold the thimble is decorated with the coat of the arms of the MacElligot family. Many members of this well known Kerry family served in the armies of the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. This example was created with two matching snuff boxes and would have been given as a token of love.
Bonhams are selling the thimble together with one of the oval snuff-box covers. It was commissioned by Peter Julius Caesar, Freiherr (Baron) von MacElligot and Baron of Trughenamy, County Kerry (1715-81), probably as a gift for his first wife.
Many members of the Irish nobility and their descendents left Ireland after the Treaty of Limerick in 1691 and joined Continental armies. MacElligot is thought to be a descendent of Colonel Roger MacElligot, who joined the Irish Brigade in France in 1697.
The Hoffmeisters assembled the greatest collection in the world of highly important Meissen armorial porcelain, and, in the 300th anniversary year of the founding of the Meissen factory – Europe’s first porcelain factory – the sale is set to rouse much excitement amongst collectors. The collection has been on show at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg for the past ten years.
The most expensive item in the Hoffmeister collection is a teapot from1713-14, decorated with the coat of arms of Sophie of Hanover, mother of King George I of England, (estimate £200,000-300,000). The tiny thimble carries an estimate of £20,000-30,000.
UPDATE: The Hoffmeister Collection of Meissen Porcelain Part III at Bonhams, New Bond Street made £790,560, selling 81% by lot and 71% by value. This brought the total for the three sales of finest Meissen to £2,988,120.