It is very difficult to define the differences in quality of figural pieces that were made during the eighteenth century since the majorty that modelled in Kaendlers modelling department will be of similar quality. What can change the appearance of quality is a piece aging badly because of environment issues that may affect the quality of the piece over a period of time. When trying to establish the finest qualites over lessor certain factors can be seen that can differentiate different type of qualities.
On occasion pieces may be over fired in the oven and as a result their could be faults in the quality of the actual firing or the modelling or the painting or in all three. A piece could also have numerous firing faults in the form of either small or large cracks or even firing chips. These are chips that are glazed over.
One of the challenges defining finest over fine or best or average is what preferences you put into place that empasize you as a collector are happy to own.
Differences in the actual colour although invisible to the eye may sit differently and look brighter or duller on any piece. This can impact the effect of the modelling making it appear inferior to other pieces that were well fired.
Do not always be misguided by a cancellation mark that may sit over, under by the side or through the mark as many pieces found originating in the the latter part of the 18th century albeit mostly through the 19th century and later. It is very difficult to establish why a piece may have a single cancellation or multiple.
Another factor to take into account could be restoration that was done to a piece after it was made and not an in house restoration by the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory.
As a Meissen Enthusiast ‘The Meissen Man’s’, own preference is to disregard any cancellation but to focus on the overal quality of painting and modelling but to take into account any minor faults that may be evident.
Ernst August Leuteritz was the genius in the modelling department during the second half of the nineteenth century. He was to the modelling department in the 19th century to what Kaendler was in the eighteenth century. His finest workmanship was producing figururative pieces circa 1880 of which the video describes some of his most famous works. His workmanship was exceptional and at this time was when the finest qualites seen were modelled and manufactured. Occasionally can be seen the exception, when the Meissen Manufactory was commissioned to produce a model that may have been originally manufactured in a different form, perhaps bronze and often pieces that were made during the first 35 years of the twentieth century including the Pfeiffer Period circa 1924-34 where workmanship excelled. These would be categorised as being the finest peices manufactured at Meissen.