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Böttger stoneware head of the Emperor Vitellius, c.1710-13, estimated at £4000-6000 at Bonhams.

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The model is by Paul Heermann (1673-1732), a Dresden sculptor who worked as a repairer of antique sculpture in the collection of Augustus the Strong. A surviving invoice from October 9, 1708, suggests he was one of the first sculptors working in Böttger stoneware.

The bust, based on the Roman marble bust known as the Pseudo-Vitellius in the Museo Archeologico in Venice, is likely one of the 12 Böttger stoneware busts of emperors mentioned in the Meissen factory inventory of 1711.

It was once in the Saxon Royal Collections (it bears the 19th century Johanneum inventory number 244) and was acquired by the owner from dealer Heinz Reichert, Munich.

bonhams.com