Meissen Monkey Band figurines
A selection of Meissen Monkey Band figurines
A selection of Meissen Monkey Band figurines
Meissen Monkey Band figurines are porcelain figurines depicting a variety of monkeys dressed in period costume playing musical instruments.


Meissen porcelain was the first European hard-paste porcelain, and was first manufactured in the German town of Meissen in 1710. It remains one of the world’s foremost porcelain manufacturers today, and continued to produce a number of styles and designs that originally date from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Monkey Band was created in the mid-18th century by Johann Joachim Kaendler, the most celebrated and famous of all Meissen sculptors. They were based on the satirical illustrations of the French artist Christophe Huet, working in the ‘singerie’ style of elegant monkeys that was hugely popular with the French aristocracy during the 18th century.

Meissen Monkey Band figurines

The original series featured 22 figures (including the conductor’s music stand), each representing a different figure of the orchestra of the Royal Court. These are:

  • 1. Conductor
  • 2. Cellist
  • 3. Kettle drummer
  • 4. Clarinettist
  • 5. Trumpeter
  • 6. Violinist
  • 7. Female singer
  • 8. Bagpiper
  • 9. French horn player
  • 10. Female singer
  • 11. Flautist
  • 12. Triangle player
  • 12. Drummer for the kettle drums
  • 13. Female singer
  • 14. Drummer with pipe
  • 15. Lyre player
  • 16. Guitarist
  • 17. Female singer
  • 18. Bassoonist
  • 19. Pianist
  • 20. Harpist
  • 21. Barrel Organ player
  • 22. Music Stand
The figures were first produced in 1746, and have been reproduced ever since. They are one of the most famous lines of all Meissen animal figurines, and the designs were widely copied by other porcelain manufacturers across Europe.

How much are Meissen Monkey Band figurines worth?

The value of Meissen Monkey band figurines depends on when they were produced and their condition. The most valuable are the earliest 18th century examples, which can sell for around £5,000 each in good condition.

19th century examples in good condition can sell for around £1,000 - £2,000 each, and modern Meissen examples produced today can be found for sale by specialist dealers for around £2,000 each.

See also

Main article: Figurines
Main article: Porcelain

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