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Meissen

Meissen is a small town in Germany on the Elbe river in Saxony which is famous for the production of porcelain. It dates back to the early 18th century when the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger discovered the formula for producing hard-paste porcelain which was previously unknown to Europeans.

The Meissen factory is generally regarded to be the first producer of true hard paste porcelain in Europe. It was established in 1710 in the town of Meissen in Saxony under the auspices of the state’s ruler, the Elector Augustus the Strong.

Some of the designs have been in continuous use since the 18th century and many of the ornamental wares and figures were originally inspired by the oriental prototypes they sought to emulate. However, over the years, European subjects and decoration became increasingly important.


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Coronation service among European porcelain highlights at Swiss sale

14 September 2020

A 176-lot group of Meissen and other European porcelain from the collection of Dr Siegfried Ducret, consigned from the estate of Rosmarie Schmidt-Ducret, will be offered at auction by Koller in Zurich on September 24.

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Parkland teapot

24 August 2020

This Meissen porcelain teapot from c.1722 will feature in the sale series to be held by Hargesheimer of Dusseldorf from September 10-12.

Böttger bottle vase

Meissen makes a big impact in private collection sale

25 July 2020

A very early and delicate Böttger Stoneware covered bottle vase featured in the Important Meissen Porcelain from a Private Collection auction at Bonhams in London sold for a hammer price of £105,000.

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Flamboyant Meissen ewer draws strong bidding at Wendl

20 July 2020

There is absolutely no way that one can describe the decoration of a late 19th century Meissen ewer sold by Wendl (21% buyer’s premium) in Rudolstadt as restrained.

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Meissen figure groups make key contribution to auction of Müller-Frei collection

13 July 2020

The sale of the Müller-Frei collection of paintings and decorative arts held by Koller (25% buyer’s premium) in Zurich last month included two early 18th century Meissen figure groups that outstripped their estimates.

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Meissen from a Worcester collection brings international competition at Adam Partridge

13 July 2020

International bidders competed online and by phone against the UK trade and collectors for a group of 18th century Meissen figures offered at Adam Partridge (20% buyer’s premium) in Macclesfield.

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Meissen Whiplash dinner service catches the eye at Freeman’s

04 May 2020

Freeman’s (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) of Philadelphia opened its latest Design sale with a Meissen Whiplash dinner service designed in 1903-4 by Henry Van de Velde, the Belgian Art Nouveau architect and designer.

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Von Brühl’s tailor rides his goat and fabled groups add a light touch

04 May 2020

By tradition, Count Heinrich von Brühl (1700-63), chief minister and favourite to Augustus III, was a man famed for his fashion sense. His tailor was thus an important part of his entourage.

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Rare version of Meissen's modern coffee service emerges Dusseldorf

02 March 2020

Having been heavily criticised for its antiquated designs at the World Exhibition of 1900 in Paris, the Meissen porcelain factory commissioned avant-garde designers to produce more vibrant pieces.

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Henry Arnhold’s sale led by Meissen blue and white saucer dish at Sotheby's

25 November 2019

The most expensive piece in Sotheby’s Arnhold sale was a lot that made a dramatic increase on its $4000-6000 estimate. This 7½in (19.5cm) diameter blue and white saucer dish (below) was an early example of blue and white Meissen from c.1721-22 that had Japanese Palace inventory marks.

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Single sources boost traditional ceramics

25 November 2019

High selling rates at two American salerooms show how the market can absorb traditional ceramics in volume when estimates are realistic

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Bidders sniff out early scent bottles at New York sales

25 November 2019

Early-18th century porcelain scent bottles from Chelsea and the St James’s factory have been the object of increasing interest and value in recent years. Some high-flying examples emerged in the sales in New York.

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Classic Wedgwood and Meissen features in New York from two single-owner groups

14 October 2019

A feast of English and Continental ceramics will be laid on in the Big Apple next week to tempt enthusiasts for classic 18th and 19th century pottery and porcelain from two of the major factories of western Europe.

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Worcestershire couple make room for Meissen

02 September 2019

A collection of Meissen figures, many by Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-75) and his assistants, met keen interest at Adam Partridge’s (20% buyer’s premium) auction.

Meissen bust of Karl Albrecht, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII

Meissen bust of Holy Roman Emperor sold to Bavarian museum at Bonhams’ auction

15 July 2019

The Bavarian National Museum in Munich has purchased this sculptural bust in white Meissen porcelain of Karl Albrecht, the Elector of Bavaria and also Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII (1697-1745).

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Traditional ceramics head to London auctions in the latest formats

06 May 2019

While Sotheby’s and Christie’s no longer hold regular dedicated auctions of European ceramics, they still cater for elements of this market in their main centres worldwide via series of mixed-discipline traditional decorative arts auctions.

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Marvellous Meissen collection includes Kaendler cockerel

29 April 2019

It is thought that the prestigious Meissen designer Johann Joachim Kaendler drew the inspiration for his teapot in the form of a reclining cockerel from a Chinese model he found in the royal collection in Dresden.

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Historicism reigns at Minton and Meissen

18 March 2019

A massive 3ft (92cm) high majolica urn – a riot of grotesque masks, mythical figures and other motifs drawn from Renaissance sources – combining the talents of two key figures in the history of the Minton factory was included in Fonsie Mealy’s (20% buyer’s premium) sale on March 5.

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Dealer offers fine and extensive single-owner collection of porcelain in sections over a year

21 January 2019

Building a collection can be the work of a lifetime. Selling is often a much quicker affair. But dealer Haydn Hansell of Juno Antiques is being far from hasty when it comes to the fine assortment of mostly 18th century porcelain he offers this year.

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Meissen sea goddess figure group at Leslie Hindman leads selection of US auction highlights

14 January 2019

A late 19th century Meissen figure group offered at Leslie Hindman in Chicago features in ATG's selection of auction highlights in the US this winter.