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Audio guide: Mine commandant

Audio guide stop: 2603

Crowdsourced transcription of the audio file

A figure of a mine commandant
A figure of a mine commandant
Creative Commons Licence

This beautifully dressed figure, with his long white wig and gold trimmed jacket, is the commandant of a silver mine, the leader of an important workforce in eighteenth- century Saxony.

Miners made a significant contribution to the discovery and manufacture of European porcelain – Kaolin, the white clay which was an essential ingredient, had been discovered in a mine only fifty miles southwest of Meissen.

A magnificent parade of 1,400 miners had been one of the highlights of the celebrations of the wedding of Augustus the Strong's son in 1719. And although they were not made until around 1750, this figure and others around it were probably created in memory of that event.

The miners are dressed in their ceremonial outfits rather than their working clothes. It was once believed that this was in fact a portrait of Augustus himself. The initials 'A. R.' on his cap stand for Augustus Rex, Augustus the king, although they probably advertise the commandant's loyalty to the monarch rather than his identification with him.

Co-production of this resource

The MicroPasts logo

The transcription of the audio file for this stop was enabled by the AHRC funded crowd-sourcing platform MicroPasts. The below generously gave their time to transcribe the file.

Louisa de Gooijer, Athena, Adi Levin, Maria Benedetto Mozo and Terence Gould

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