Johann Christian Neuber at the Saxon Court

Today marks the start of the exhibition of goldsmith Johann Christian Neuber at the Frick Collection in New York. The exhibit entitled: Gold, Jasper, and Carnelian: Johann Christian Neuber at the Saxon Court will run from May 30th to August 19th.

Box office by mineralogy, Johann Christian Neuber © Fr Cochennec and C. Rabourdin / Musée Cognac-Jay / Roger-Viollet

Johann Christian Neuber (1736–1808) was one of the greatest masters of the gold objet – gold boxes, watch cases, chatelaines, etc. – which he in particular decorated to splendid effect with semiprecious stones – agate, jasper, carnelian and a host of others. In 1769 he became director of the Grünes Gewölbe, the magnificent State Treasury in Dresden, and in 1775 court jeweler to the court of Saxony. Neuber’s work features enchanting landscapes, intricate floral designs and complex geometric patterns made out of tiny cut stones, incorporating also Meissen porcelain plaques, cameos and miniatures.

Breteuil Table, Dresden, 1779–80, collection of the Marquis de Breteuil, Chäteau de Breteuil (Choisel/Chevreuse); photo: Michael Bodycomb

This collection brings together Neuber’s pieces from various galleries, private collections and museums such as Grünes Gewölbe, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum. In a NYAB article, Ian Wardropper, The Frick Collection director stated,

“These unique and inventive objects were treasured in the eighteenth century, but remarkably, have never before been shown together…We are delighted to introduce our visitors the oeuvre of this ingenious artisan through the upcoming exhibition, which will offer [a] sense of the important contributions made by those at work for the Saxon court at Dresden.”

Paul Holberton Publishing has released an accompanying volume to this exhibit also entitled Gold, Jasper and Carnelian: Johann Christian Neuber at the Saxon Court.

In addition to more than 500 color illustrations, this books also investigates the context and history of mineralogy and it’s celebration in Neuber’s art.

Available from www.casemateathena.com.

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