signed and dated 1759
Zurich, Leonhard Locher
Faience with painting in 'high temperature' pigments, height 315 cm, width 93 cm, depth 144 cm
Leonhard Locher (1695-1766), president of the Zurich potters' guild, delivered several stoves to Basle in the 1750s. His speciality was camaieu painting of brilliant cobalt blue on a white ground. This style provided an alternative to the gayer colours of the Strasbourg stoves, or to those of stoves from the Frisching factory in Berne. In this case the tiles forming the main body of the stove are painted with Rococo views that are somewhat monotonous and meagrely figured, but the garlands of flowers on the pilasters provide a more characteristic example, from Locher's own hand. The stove came from the living room of the Grosser Rollerhof at the corner of Münsterplatz and Augustinergasse. Both this house and the Kleiner Rollerhof were owned by the wealthy silk ribbon manufacturer Martin Bachofen Heitz (1727-1824). His country estate was the Schloss Ebenrain. His widespread contacts and his knowledge of art led to his founding the Bachofensche Gemälde - and Kunstsammlung, his own art collection.