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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.


Samson shows surprising strength

19 March 2001

UK: THIS quarterly sale of ceramics, glass, and works of art at Phillips’ Midlands branch included private collections of cameo glass, Meissen and Royal Worcestershire, plus a smattering of Oriental entries which contributed to the £111,000 sale tally that was nearly 90 per cent sold by lot.

How swans were re-united – and flew to £270,000

23 May 2000

UK: THE romance, expertise and astonishing prices at the Benacre sale came together when this pair of candelabra, above, were put up by Sotheby’s.