“Borromeo” tea and coffee set - inv. 1034

Meissen, first half of 18th century

“Borromeo” tea and coffee set
hard-paste porcelain  
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 1034

Golden Room

On all the pieces of the set are repeated the mark, the italic A, standing for King Augustus III of Poland (1696 -1763), and the arms of the Borromeo family. The latter, set in the decoration, have the form of a shield, with “Humilitas” inscribed on it, and a unicorn and a snake on the left, a dromedary on the right. Below it hangs a star-shaped emblem, identified as the Polish Order of the White Eagle. A document shows that on November 19, 1736, King Augustus III of Poland signed the investiture of Federico VI Borromeo (1703-1779) in this order. It is possible that Federico either commissioned the service or received it as a gift from the king. This work is very valuable for the refined decoration with its “port scenes” and its excellent state of preservation, which is due largely to its case: a fine wooden box lined with green velvet with tapes and silver hinges and locks.

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