The Museum bought the 15in (38cm) high bust for a hammer price of £55,000 at Bonhams’ sale of a second instalment of Meissen porcelain from a European Private collection offered in London on July 2.
It dates from c.1742, around the time that Karl Albrecht was elected Holy Roman Emperor, bears the inscription Carolus VII to the front and was probably modelled by JJ Kaendler and Peter Reinicke.
The piece was formerly part of a large series of Meissen busts in the collection of the Counts Waldstein at Dux Castle in Bohemia. It was then acquired by the Prague collector Rudolf Just (1895-1972).
The purchase at Bonhams’ auction was made with the assistance of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung.
It was not the only purchase at the sale made by a German Institution.
The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen (State Art Collections) in Dresden bought a Meissen bowl for its famous porcelain collection at the Zwinger Palace.
The 6.5in (17cm) diameter bowl, dating from c.1740, is part of a service produced for Foscari family of Venice and bears the Foscari arms to the exterior along with scenes of merchants and their wares at the quayside.
It cost £8500 plus premium.