The Kurt Bechtold Collection
A special highlight at the Kronberger Haus is the Kurt Bechtold Collection, which the donor presented to the historisches museum's society of friends and patrons – the Historisch-Archäologische Gesellschaft e.V., – in 1997 on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. It comprises outstanding Höchst porcelain figures and dishes with fine purple, flower and bird painting by well-known Höchst artists.
In our museum's second largest department, a dessert table with gallant shepherd groups and peasant children at play has been reconstructed. The fine perforated or "breakthrough" porcelain and the pastoral figures of the centrepiece were carried out by Johann Peter Melchior in ca. 1770. The richly laid table with the seductively slumbering shepherdess as a main eye-catcher is only one of the treasures in the Kurt Bechtold Collection. Because it brings together superb examples of Höchst figural porcelain with porcelain painting from the old Höchster Porzellan-Manufaktur, the donation represents a valuable enhancement to our holdings.
Here visitors will find major works by well-known modellers and painters of Höchst, grouped according to chronological, aesthetic, and artistic considerations. Among the most famous Höchst modellers are Johann Gottfried Becker, Laurentius Russinger and Johann Peter Melchior. Prominent painters at the manufactory were Andreas Philipp Oettner, Johann Melchior Schöllhammer, Jacob Melchior Höckel, Peter and Joseph Angele, Friedrich Carl Wohlfahrt, Louis Victor Gerverot and Johann Heinrich Usinger. All of these artists are represented in the Kurt Bechtold Collection.
Paintings with flower, purple camaieu, landscape, genre and figures enjoyed particular popularity. The different painting styles of the Höchst porcelain painters can be studied and compared in detail, thanks to the fact that several of the works are signed. Artist signatures are rare on eighteenth-century porcelain.