The courtly society of the 18th century knew full well why it frowned upon real table flowers: It was a tragedy to see how a blossom so beautiful could wither to nothing. That cannot happen with this magnolia. Masterly hands shape each and every leaf, garnish filaments and pistils into one harmonious whole. But only through the accomplished stroke of the porcelain artist’s brush does the spirit of this ten-centimetre long belle shine through.
The cherry blossom heralds in spring and stands for beauty, departure and transience. It is not without reason that it is considered one of the most important symbols of Japanese culture. It’s just a shame that its natural beauty is so short-lived. Conrad Linck’s tender white porcelain blossom may offer something to those who wish to enjoy its fragile beauty for longer. Even in autumn and winter, the delicate charm of its wafer-thin body gives hope that springtime is not far away.
Those who are fortunate enough to enjoy a guided tour around the Nymphenburg Manufactory will be amazed by the meditative quiet of the studios. In the hands of these masters of their craft the artists need to keep their concentration at the highest levels at all times when creating unique articles like this peony. Each leaf of this snow-white three-centimetre long peony is shaped freehand using fine knives and spatulas as they gradually grow piece-by-piece into a blossoming flower.
In 1770 as Conrad Linck drew up numerous flower designs, he could never have dreamt what an exciting future lay in store for such candidates as this little carnation. For one, it enjoyed life as a decoration on his grand chandeliers. And since 2002 it has also been available to purchase separately as a unique handmade blossom. In combination with its bigger sister, the hand-painted table carnation, or with a peony or a Japanese cherry blossom, it is fit to grace any table.
Which way do the veins of the maple leaf flow, how does it arch around the oak tree? Children should be made familiar with their environment as early as possible. And what better way to do so than at the table with this playful hand-painted leaves set. From maple to vine leaf, 15 different handmade and hand-painted types of foliage show a true-to-nature cross-section of the botanic world. Each piece provides enough discussion material, while simultaneously cultivating a feel for the aesthetic. Above all, they make wonderful table decoration for autumn.
Counted among some of the most important designs drafted for the manufactory by sculptor Franz Conrad Linck are the gorgeous chandeliers decorated with flower garlands. The cherry blossoms hang closely together alongside magnolias, carnations, cactus flowers—each of these sometimes mere thimble-sized blossoms is a hand-worked masterpiece worthy of our attention. And thus, in 2002, it was decided in the manufactory studios to also produce blossoms like this freehand-crafted starflower as table decoration.
How many petals do you think this chrysanthemum has? 89? 172 maybe? Some 300 petals make up this gem and each and every one of them is made individually and shaped by hand. This requires time and, of course, a lot of patience. For the craftspeople in the embossing studio, who are truly masters of their art, it appears as if shaping this kind of 12-centimeter long leaf is mere routine. But the reality is that each table flower is a new challenge. Limited to 25, each unique piece rests on velvet in a beautiful, black wooden case.
How spectacular it must have been in 1765 as the first flower-decorated made-in-Nymphenburg showpiece vases were presented to Elector Maximilian III Joseph in the dining hall of the Munich Residenz. A cascade of hand-shaped leaves pouring down the five rounded bodies like a garland. Each individual flower was a work of art in its own right. In 2009, its beauty was recalled to mind as individual blossoms were selected for reproduction and presented as a limited collection of table flowers. Included is this handmade chrysanthemum, which is being sold as part of a limited edition of 25 pieces in a beautiful, black wooden case.
As the sole ultra-pure manufactory, it goes without saying that Nymphenburg also produces its own in-house porcelain material. Only a mix of china clay, feldspar and quartz which has been matured for at least two years can provide the optimum source material to make possible the manufacture of such time-consuming masterpieces like this water lily in the manufactory’s studios. The embosser requires several days to perfect this water lily as each of the wafer-thin petals is made one at a time and shaped freely by hand. And since each of these table flowers is a one-of-a-kind piece, they are being sold as part of a limited edition of just 25 in a wooden case.