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Carl Gottlob Schmeidler "Leopold Alexander Gustav von Dresky", important miniature!!, 1817/24
Price: 3900 EUR
(please note additional 13% tax applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)
THE SELLER WILL COVER SHIPPING WITH REGULAR MAIL FOR THIS ITEM!
The sitter of this 1st-class quality miniature on ivory wears an introduced in 1817 and existed until 1824 uniform of an "Ober-offizier" (junior officer; ranks between 2nd lieutenant and captain) of Prussian landwehr cavalry. Several years before he participated in anti-Napoleonic Liberation Wars of 1813/15 - evidence of that is his Prussian "Kriegsdenkmünze für 1813/15" (memorial medal of a combatant of these wars).
We discovered this portrait in one of the sales of Dresden auction house "Schmidt" (see our image nr.8). The auctioneer titled it in the sale catalogue as "Portrait of Hauptmann (captain - B.W.) Gustav von Dresky, owner of estate Mertschütz (then Prussian Silesia, now - Wadroze Wielkie, Poland). Further we read in the catalogue's entry that this officer was the same "Gustav von Dresky" who in 1870 (!!) was a physiotherapist of young Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia.
The auctioneer's statement was surely based on the old legend on verso (which names the sitter Gustav von Dresky) and before all on information provided by pre-owner of this piece, descendant of the Dresky familly. This person delivered to the same sale another (large-scale) portrait of a lady from this family - namely that of the wife of "physiotherapist" Gustav von Dresky.
The biographical details found online fully destroyed this legend - physiotherapeut Gustav Freiherr (Baron) von Dresky was born in 1835 and could not have worn a uniform of the early 1820s.
Nevertheless the legend written in German on verso is absolutely correct - we are dealing with a portrait of "physiotherapist"'s father whose first name also contains "Gustav" - Leopold Alexander Gustav von Dresky (see our image nr.10). The latter was born in 1790 in Silesian town Glatz and was indeed an owner of estate Meterschütz!
It is a typical case of a family legend transformed through several generations.
Unfortunatelly we could not find information online about the military career of Dresky-senior, besides the mention that he was retreated major (he probably was pensioned with this rank being before Rittmeister (cavalry captain (junior officer!)).
This miniature (surely a life portrait) is a signed work of the best Silesian miniaturist of early 19th century, Carl Gottlob Schmeidler. The latter was especially known for his portraits of officers, participants of Napoleonic Wars.
Carl Gottlob Schmeidler was born in Nimptsch, Silesia (today in Poland) in 1772 and died in Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland) in 1838.
After doing his preliminary art studies in Breslau, he became a pupil at the Academy of Dresden. When he finished his studies he returned to Breslau, where he soon became a much sought after miniaturist. In 1813 when he was staying in this town, King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia had Schmeidler do the portraits of his children. Soon the whole aristocracy of Silesia came to him or invited him to the castles of the region. The artist won more and more the esteem of his fellow-citizens and from 1828 to 1831 he was the president of the municipal council and the following year, deputy.
Schidlof further says: "Schmeidler was one of the best German miniaturists of his period".
Numerous miniatures by Schmeidler were with families of Silesia before the WWI. The museum of Breslau (Wroclaw) had several of them.
CLICK HERE FOR OTHER WORKS OF THIS ARTIST IN OUR POSSESSION
We are very grateful to our permanent advisor, author of numerous publication about Prussian military uniform, Dr. Stanislav Lyulin for his generous help.
Condition: good; in original frame
Creation Year: 1817/24
Object Type:Framed miniature
Style: Portrait miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Inscription:signed: Schmeidler; verso: old legend
Creator: Carl Gottlob Schmeidler
Creator Dates: 1772 Nimptsch, Silezia-1838 Breslau (Wroclaw)
Nationality:Polish / German
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