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Shaving bowl

Strasbourg, Paul Hannong, painter Christian Wilhelm von Lowenfinck, 1748-53
Faience, on glaze painting and gilding
length 33.5 cm, width 17.8 cm, height 8 cm
Inv. 1895.78.

3785px x 4822px
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Because of its decoration and the signature in gold on the underside, "v.Löwenf.peint", this object is one of the most valuable surviving ceramics from Strasbourg. The signature is that of Christian Wilhelm von Löwenfinck, who had trained in Meissen and then worked in Strasbourg from 1748. The flower spray in the centre of the bowl and the decoration on the rim are painted with the utmost delicacy and reflect von Löwenfinck's absolute mastery of his art. Nonetheless, he did not work without patterns: the outlines of the flowers are produced from stencils following various prints by Jacques Bailly (Grasay ca. 1629-1679 Paris), Jean Baptiste Monnoyer (Lille 1636-1699 London), and Jacques Vauquier (Blois 1621-1686). Once the design was transferred on to the glazed surface of the dish it was painted with enamel colours. The shaving bowl carries the coat of arms of the Buxtorf family, scholars and merchants who were resident in Basle. This particular shape was not only used by barbers for shaving, but also served as the shop sign of their trade. It is not known why it was chosen for a costly faience present.

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