Meissen figure
This very rare Meissen Böttger stoneware figure has been barred from export from the UK by the government.

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The commedia dell’arte figure will be sold to a buyer overseas unless a buyer based in the UK can be found to match the asking price of £270,000.

It is one of an extremely rare group of models after the Italian Commedia dell’arte theatre, for which the factory at Meissen subsequently became famous. Meissen is renowned across Europe as being the first true hard-paste porcelain factory in 18th century Europe.

The item was formerly owned by Emma Budge, a prominent Jewish art collector whose collection was sold at the Graupe Auction House in Berlin in 1937 following her death.

Blocked Account

However her heirs did not receive the proceeds of this after the estate’s account at the MM Warburg bank in Hamburg was “aryanized” by the Nazi authorities and the proceeds from the sale were paid into a blocked account.

The figure was eventually acquired by a prominent member of the Jewish community who escaped Nazi Germany in April 1938.

The decision on the export licence will be deferred until October 1. This may be extended until 1 January 2018 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made.

The estate of Emma Budge have been involved in a long running dispute with The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

It is now believed the dispute has been resolved with an agreement that the museum will pay the estate of Emma Budge an undisclosed sum to retain the seven commedia dell’arte figures by the Höchst, Fürstenberg and Fulda factories.