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Monkey Band Orchestra

Meissen Monkey Band Orchestra

Designed by master modeler Johann Joachim Kaendler in the middle of the 18th century, the “Monkey Orchestra” is an outstanding example from Meissen’s Baroque era. Popular in France at that time, the singerie genre depicts fashionably dressed monkeys imitating human behaviour in a satirical manner. Entire rooms could be decorated with these comical scenes, from the walls, upholstery fabrics and carpets all the way to the porcelain. Modelled after drawings from famed French singerie artist Christophe Huet, the “Monkey Orchestra” is an ensemble of Rococo-outfitted primates, produced with elaborate craftsmanship and painted in rich detail. The earliest of these figurines quickly made their way from the Meissen kilns straight to Paris, where Madame de Pompadour, mistress to King Louis XV, was one of the first recipients of the collection in 1753.