Bjorn Wiinblad “The Magic Flute”, Rosenthal Studio Line.
Further back on this site I have an introduction to Bjorn Wiinblad’s designs for the Rosenthal “Studio Line”. This article features one of his more spectacular designs for Rosenthal – “The Magic Flute” or “Zauberflöte”.
Each piece of this design depicts a different scene from Mozart’s opera, and texts of libretto of the opera are written onto the bottom of many of the pieces in this series, including on the saucers of the cups.
Many of the forms in the series are instantly recognisable as Wiinblad in design, especially when looking at the exotic domed or minaret shape of many of the lids on teapots, bowls etc, and on closer inspection of the detail in the charming embossed illustrations.
The setting is one of the most technically sophisticated and expensive services ever produced by Rosenthal – and is still in production. The design comes in pure white as well as the gold, and gold/white. The first 5 images are of pieces I found at auction a few years ago, and the others from around the web.
You can see more of the amazing pieces of this series, and more of the story of the design on the Rosenthal website HERE where the extract below is from:
It was necessary to create space through extremely wide plate rims for these scenes. On this stage of porcelain Wiinblad tells the story of the opera in a relief with detailed figures and ornamentation. Time and again one finds something new in these scenes. The rims had to be as wide as never before on plates. In order to prevent them flopping down during firing, a special firing technique had to be developed. The service “Zauberflöte” possesses something so special that it is not apparent at first glance: a decoration on the underside of the porcelain! Even in the white range, all pieces carry on the underside the text of the opera libretto of the scene depicted in the relevant porcelain relief. Written in Björn Wiinblad´s ornamental handwriting and decorated with gold. A further feature of this service: the relief surfaces are not glazed but smoothed and polished after the second firing in a highly elaborate procedure. This produces the delicate, matt effect of the relief forming a most attractive contrast to the glazed surfaces.