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European Stars and Stripes: Sunday, September 6, 1970 - Page 13

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   European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - September 5, 1970, Darmstadt, Hesse                              A German MuseumThat's MarkedFRAGILEBy SUE VOLEK, Staff WriterEVEN IF you aren't generally keen onvisiting museums while touring thebyways of Germany, there's a mini-palace in Hesse that may be just yourdish.It's the tiny Prinz-Georg-Palais inDarmstadt, a city that branches off theautobahn between Heidelberg andFrankfurtLocated unobtrusively at one side of a.well-manicured public garden near thecenter of town, the palace appearsmore to be merely another graceful,shuttered house.But it happens to contain an unusual6,000-piece collection of 18lh and 19ihcentury European porcelain.STATUETTES, tiny cosmetic dishes,slender vases and even a grandfatherdock or two are displayed.Fragile sets of china dishes onceowned by a daughter of the House ofHesse are painted in minute detail withscenes of central Germany — perhapsto remind her of home while she livedwith her Russian husband in far-off St.Petersburg,Tall glazed wine jugs are big enoughto hold a goodly amount, yet ring whentapped gently with a fingernail.HE fragile porcelain was first pro-duced in France during the 16th cen-tury. Early German porcelain wasmade in the eastern town of Meissen,where production continues today. Themanufacture of white porcelain wasfully mastered there in about 1715.Experimentation with glazes and co-lored enamels continued, and a model-ler named Johann Kaendler designedelaborate court dishes, platters andserving bowls. Small figures for tabledecorations also were produced duringthe mid-18th century, some fashioned assatirical comments on daily life.INDIVIDUAL German princes com-manded their own porcelain factoriesafter 1760. Artists were virtual slaves oftheir "patrons," who jealously guardedformulas and techniques.Workers who did manage to escapewere sought after by rival rulers alsoseeking new and better methods of por-celain manufacture.With the gradual proliferation of fac-tories, collecting the objects became afad with nobility. However, after theNapoleonic wars of the 19th century,there was a breakdown in the traditio-nal craftsmanship and the best workproduced was by individual artists try-ing to copy past achievements.The grand Duke of Hesse began col-lecting porcelain in 1906 when he as-sembled the pieces his family owned.After making other acquisitions, themuseum was opened in the Prinz-Georg-Palais two years later.During World War Two the collectionwas moved to an Oppenheim wine cel-lar for protection, and later was trans-ferred to a flour mill in the Odenwald.The porcelain finally was returned in-tact to Darmstadt, in 1950.The duke's collection is open to thepublic Monday through Thursday from10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 2 to 5 p.m.;on Saturday, Sunday and holidays from10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum is closedon Fridays. Fragile set* of china dish** w«r« owntd fay « daughter of G«rman minor nobility.Cosmetic boxes mode of porcelain are displayed of unusual museum in Darmstadt.A« mtrkottty decorated vcse cn«hod its pJoc« amid Hovie of Hene.Proliferation of rare artifacts includes monkey botfle-stopper of porcelain. Collodion of 18th andH THi STAJK AND ST*H»«Cfcflrury Ewr opts^o £OfCtIolA 4row« vivi! or»6,  

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