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Johann Christian "Neuber à Dresde"

Neoclassical Treasury Art for the Aristocracy of Europe

Exhibition of the Grünes Gewölbe, Residenzschloss (Green Vault, Royal Palace)
3 March 2012 – extended until 6 May 2012

This exhibition is devoted to the Dresden court jeweller Johann Christian Neuber (1736-1808) and brings together exceptional examples of his works, through which the long-standing and highly renowned goldsmith’s art of Dresden enjoyed a period of renewed eminence and prestige after 1763.

The fascinating diversity of the characteristic »Neuber boxes«, for which brightly coloured Saxon gemstones were mounted in gold, is documented in a choice selection of works on loan from American, German and French private collections along with snuff boxes and jewellery boxes by Neuber from the holdings of the Grünes Gewölbe.

An elaborate table made by Neuber is being exhibited outside France for the first time. This table was a diplomatic gift presented by Elector Friedrich August III to Louis-Auguste Baron de Breteuil in gratitude for the latter’s assistance in bringing about the Treaty of Teschen in May 1779, which was of great importance to Saxony.  

  • - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.


Another item on display is a figural group from the Dresden Porzellansammlung still set on its original base featuring Saxon gemstones, which was made by Neuber and which was long thought to have been lost. This group was part of a large table centrepiece which was again given as a gift by Friedrich August III, this time to Prince Repnin, the leader of the Russian delegation in the 1779 peace treaty negotiations. Newly discovered drawings in the archives of the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory are on view for the first time and impressively illustrate the superb colours of the »Neuber bases« which once comprised part of this gift presented to Prince Repnin.

Two allegorical figural groups on »Neuber bases« from the large table centrepiece made for Friedrich August III in 1776 clearly exemplify how classicist creations made of Meissen porcelain and elaborately mounted Saxon gemstones advertised the wealth of Saxony and boosted the renown of its ruler.