The gift of Professor Günther Sterba comprises a collection of 41 extraordinary, delicately painted dessert plates that were made for Empress Joséphine of France by the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin in 1807. The plates’ decoration is based on a graphical template with detailed individual plants at the center and a leaf wreath, sepia-painted, on the edge. The geographical origin and name of the plants are given in French on the rear of the plates. After the Empress’ death in May 1814 and the auction of her estate, the botanic KPM service was long deemed lost.
The gift from Professor Sterba has now brought the largest collection of plates from this rare service into the museum’s possession.