Meissen Porcelain (Germany, 1710–)

Meissen Porcelain (Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen) is one of the preeminent porcelain factories in Europe and was the first to produce true porcelain outside of Asia. It was established in 1710 under the auspices of King Augustus II “the Strong” of Saxony-Poland (1670–1733), a keen collector of Asian ceramics, particularly Ming porcelain. In pursuing his passion, which he termed his “maladie de porcelaine,” Augustus spent vast sums, amassing some 20,000 pieces of Japanese and Chinese ceramics. These, along with examples of early Meissen, comprise the Porzellansammlung, or porcelain collection, of the Zwinger Palace, in Dresden.


The king was determined, however, to free the European market from its dependence on Asian imports and to give European artisans the freedom to create their own porcelain designs. To this end, he charged the scientist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and aspiring alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger with the task of using local materials to produce true, hard-paste porcelain (as opposed to the soft-paste variety European ceramists in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and Spain had been producing since the late Renaissance). In 1709, the pair succeeded in doing just that, employing kaolin, or “china clay.” A year later, the Meissen factory was born.


In its first decades, Meissen mostly looked to Asian models, producing wares based on Japanese Kakiemon ceramics and pieces with Chinese-inflected decorations, called chinoiseries. During the 1720s its painters drew inspiration from the works of Watteau, and the scenes of courtly life, fruits and flowers that adorned fashionable textiles and wallpaper. It was in this period that Meissen introduced its famous cobalt-blue crossed swords logo—derived from the arms of the Elector of Saxony as Arch-Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire—to distinguish its products from those of competing factories that were beginning to spring up around Europe.


By the 1730s, Meissen’s modelers and decorators had mastered the style of Asian ceramics, and Augustus encouraged them to develop a new, original aesthetic. The factory’s director, Count Heinrich von Brühl, used Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s botanical drawings as the basis for a new line of wares with European-style surface decoration. The Blue Onion pattern (Zwiebelmuster), first produced in 1739, melded Asian and European influences, closely following patterns used in Chinese underglaze-blue porcelain, but replacing exotic flora and fruits with Western varieties (likely peaches and pomegranates, not onions) along with peonies and asters.


During the same period, head modeler Joachim Kändler (1706–75) began crafting delicate porcelain figures derived from the Italian commedia dell’arte. Often used as centerpieces on banquet tables and decorated to reflect the latest fashions in courtly dress for men and women, these figurines, they were popular in their day, and are still considered among of Meissen’s most iconic creations. Kändler also created the Swan Service, which, with its complex low-relief surface design and minimal decoration is considered a masterpiece of Baroque ceramics.


The rise of Neoclassicism in the latter half of the 18th century forced Meissen to change artistic direction and begin producing monumental vases, clocks, chandeliers and candelabra. In the 20th century, Meissen added to its 18th-century repertoire decidedly modern designs, including ones in the Art Nouveau style. The 1920s saw the introduction of numerous animal figures, such as the popular sea otter (Fischotter), which graced an East German postage stamp in the 1960s. Starting in 1933, artistic freedom was limited at the factory under the Nazi regime, and after World War II, when the region became part of East Germany, it struggled to reconcile its elite past with the values of the Communist government. In 1969, however, new artistic director Karl Petermann reintroduced the early designs and fostered a new degree of artistic license. Meissen became one of the few companies to prosper in East Germany.


Owned by the State of Saxony since reunification, in 1990, Meissen continues to produce its classic designs together with new ones developed collaboratively with artists from all over the world. In addition, through its artCAMPUS program, the factory has invited distinguished ceramic artists, such as Chris Antemann and Arlene Shechet, to work in its studios in collaboration with its skilled modelers and painters. The resulting works of contemporary sculpture are inspired by Meissen’s rich and complex legacy.

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Large Meissen Tailor
By Meissen Porcelain
Large Meissen Tailor
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
A large Meissen model of count bruhl's tailor  late 19th century, blue crossed swords mark, incised 77, outside decorated. After the model by J.J. Kändler, seated astride a billy-goa...
Meissen Painted Lidded Box Relief Decoration Chino...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1850s German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
Meissen gorgeous lidded box with multicolored decorations (Chinoiseries) of relief type Measures: height: 10.0 cm (3.93 inches) width: 14.0 cm (5.51 inches) depth: 11.5 cm (4.52 ...
Meissen, Cupid in Trouble, 19th Century
Meissen, Cupid in Trouble, 19th Century
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Ceramics
Porcelain
A very good quality 19th century Meissen porcelain group, depicting a cupid in trouble, crossed swords to the base.
Pair of 19th Century Meissen Comports
Pair of 19th Century Meissen Comports
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1880s German Centerpieces
Porcelain
A very impressive, fine quality 19th century Meissen Porcelain comports, each having children depicting elements of the Four Seasons.
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Figure Group of the Drunken Silenus
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Figure Group of the...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
A Meissen Porcelain figure group of the Drunken Silenus, late 19th century, after the model by F E Meyer, the slumped figure on the back of an ass supported by a bacchic attendant, a lo...
Pair of 19th Century Meissen Parrots
Pair of 19th Century Meissen Parrots
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Porcelain
A pair of good quality 19th century Meissen porcelain parrots, each mounted on a trees.
Meissen Porcelain Blue Onion Cups and Saucers, Set of Two
Meissen Porcelain Blue Onion Cups and Saucers, Set...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Meissen porcelain blue onion cups and saucers, set of two Cup measures in inches: 4.5 W x 3.5 D x 2.5 H Saucer measures in inches: 6 D x 1 H.
184-Piece Meissen Porcelain Dinner Service
184-Piece Meissen Porcelain Dinner Service
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
Comprising an incredible 184 pieces, this impressive Meissen porcelain dinner service is an exceptional example of the firm's prized dinnerware. The bodies are crafted in the New Brande...
Late 19th Century Meissen Porcelain Soup Bowl with Mandarin Pattern
Late 19th Century Meissen Porcelain Soup Bowl with...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Meissen porcelain soup bowl with mandarin pattern.
German Meissen Porcelain Demitasse Part Service, c...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1880s German Tea Sets
Porcelain
Comprising tray, 11 cups, 12, saucers and 20 spoons.
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Blue and White Porcelain Plates
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Blue and White Porc...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
19th century Meissen porcelain blue and white porcelain plates with gold gilt.
Large Antique German Meissen Porcelain 'Elements' ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 18th Century German Belle Époque Ceramics
Porcelain
This exquisite Meissen porcelain ewer is after the model by Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706 - 1775), who was the chief sculptor at the Meissen porcelain factory between 1742 and 1775. One...
Early 20th Century Meissen Porcelain Vase
Early 20th Century Meissen Porcelain Vase
Meissen Porcelain
Early 20th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Vintage Meissen blue onion vase with gilt and red accents. Shape "Neuer Ausschnitt". Hallmarked. In excellent condition.
Monumental Pair of Meissen Porcelain Snowball Vase...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1820s German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
This rare and monumental antique pair of Meissen Porcelain 22 inch vases is crafted in the illustrious Schneeballen, or Snowball, pattern. First modeled by the famed Johann Joachim Kæn...
Meissen Scent Bottle Rocaille En Miniature Watteau...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1850s German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
Meissen nicest rare scent bottle en miniature Please note: Abundantly painted with Watteau scenes! Manufactory: Meissen Dating: made during first half of 19th century (circa 1850)...
Eight Meissen Reticulated Painted Floral Motif Pla...
Meissen Porcelain
Early 20th Century German Tableware
Porcelain
Eight Meissen reticulated painted floral motif dessert or second course plates, in a vibrant monochrome rose palette. Each plate painted with a large central bouquet, flanked by three s...
Antique Meissen Figural and High Relief Porcelain ...
Meissen Porcelain
20th Century German Pitchers
Porcelain
Antique Meissen figural porcelain ewer features high relief hand-painted maritime nautical scene including cherubs, mermaids, and seahorses, crossed swords maker mark on base, 20th cent...
Huntsman and Hounds marked Meissen
Huntsman and Hounds marked Meissen
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Early 1900s German Porcelain
Porcelain
Crossed swords painted mark. Impressed marks. T102 catalogue number & #148 designer. Four hounds are removable. All have crossed swords mark. Minor new professional restoration to ride...
Meissen Octagonal Dish, Chinoiserie in the Manner ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1730s German Chinoiserie Porcelain
Porcelain
Meissen octagonal dish, painted to the centre with a chinoiserie in the manner of J.G.Ho¨roldt with a noisy scene of bell-ringers, a child to one side beating a gong, with various insec...
Prometheus Porcelain Mantle Clock by Meissen
Prometheus Porcelain Mantle Clock by Meissen
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Other Porcelain
Porcelain
This incredible porcelain mantel clock by the legendary Meissen firm depicts the Greek myth of Prometheus' rescue by Hercules as described in the tale of the hero's 12 Labors. The emoti...
Meissen Quatrefoil Shape Cup and Saucer with Children, circa 1745
Meissen Quatrefoil Shape Cup and Saucer with Child...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1740s German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
Rare Meissen quatrefoil shape cup and saucer with elegant handle, finely painted with children in landscapes, one side of the cup with a boy showing a girl his empty grape basket, while...
Four Meissen Porcelain Plaques Depicting the Four ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Early 19th Century German Folk Art Porcelain
Metal, Porcelain
This delicately detailed set of four allegorical porcelain plaques portrays family scenes within the theme of the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Spring can be identi...
Meissen Tea and Coffee Service
By Meissen Porcelain
Meissen Tea and Coffee Service
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Other Tea Sets
Gold, Porcelain
This rare and extensive Meissen porcelain tea and coffee service displays exceptional artistry. Each of the 39 exquisite pieces features delicately hand-painted cartouches of the popula...
Meissen Porcelain Dinner Service, 92 Pieces
Meissen Porcelain Dinner Service, 92 Pieces
Meissen Porcelain
20th Century German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
This resplendent 92-piece Meissen Porcelain dinner service for twelve is an exceptional example of the firm's domestic ware. The bodies are crafted in the New Brandenstein relief patter...
Meissen Bowl, 1721-1722
By Meissen Porcelain
Meissen Bowl, 1721-1722
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Early 18th Century German Baroque Porcelain
Porcelain
Painted in underglaze blue and enamel colors by Johann C. Horn Early Dragon-mark in underglaze blue on the bottom Early Böttger porcelain with small dots of fly ash The bowl belong...
Pair of Meissen Schneeballen and Intricately Ormol...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain, Ormolu
A very unusual and rare pair of Meissen Schneeballen and intricately ormolu mounted potpourri vases with covers. The vases are supported by finely detailed dragons with accompanying fac...
Meissen Teabowl and Saucer, Watteauesque Scenes, c...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1770s German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
Meissen teabowl and saucer, superbly painted with large-scale Watteauesque scenes of couples in garden, within a fine gold tracery border. Blue crossed swords and dot mark, circa 17...
Meissen Porcelain Double Snake Handled Vase Table ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Early 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
This 19th century vase have a beautiful yellow color with gilt gold highlights and curled white snakes as handles. To become a table lamp the vase has been capped and set on a base.
Early 20th Century Meissen Plate with Passion Flower
Early 20th Century Meissen Plate with Passion Flow...
Meissen Porcelain
Vintage 1920s German Art Deco Porcelain
Porcelain
Porcelain plate with passion flower in house painting, Meissen, stamp until 1924, slightly round curved shape, mirror with polychrome flower painting in house painting, inscribed and nu...
Meissen Gilded Iron Red Floral Plate
Meissen Gilded Iron Red Floral Plate
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 18th Century German Dinner Plates
Porcelain
Meissen gilded iron red floral plate. Unusual Meissen soup plate with decorated border with three reserves of different blooms surrounding large central bouquet; of irregular fired form...
Porcelain Teapot Meissen, 18th Century
Porcelain Teapot Meissen, 18th Century
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1790s German Louis XVI Porcelain
Porcelain Teapot Meissen (1740-80). Beautifully painted with flowers. The lid is decorated with a three-dimensional rose. Underglaze blue crossed sword mark with dot, which was used dur...
Pair of Late 19th Century Meissen Porcelain Ewers ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
A stunning pair of antique Meissen porcelain ewers, featuring a maritime scene with dolphins, cherubs, mermaids and galloping horses. The ewer’s handles are presenting satyrs. Underneat...
Meissen Dinner Plates Set Service for 12 Gilt Whit...
Meissen Porcelain
Late 20th Century German Organic Modern Porcelain
This elegant Meissen set displays a perfect balance of simplicity and adornment. The crisp white porcelain is offset by thin gold bands contouring the lobed form. Rims feature acanthus ...
Fine Meissen Porcelain Antique Tea and Coffee Set
Fine Meissen Porcelain Antique Tea and Coffee Set
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Early 19th Century German Victorian Tea Sets
Porcelain, Velvet
Comprising one tray, one teapot, one coffee pot, one hot water jug, two coffee cups and saucers, two tea cups and saucers and one sugar bowl and cover, with underglaze blue sword marks ...
Exceptional Meissen Porcelain Plaque of 'The Ascen...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Arts and Crafts Porcelain
Porcelain
After Anton Raphael Mengs, German, 1728-1779. Blue crossed sword mark; scratch mark 1130 on reverse. After the original 'The Ascension of Christ' altarpiece in Dresden Cathedral, by...
19th Century Meissen Hand-Painted Porcelain Hen an...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Mid-19th Century German Victorian Porcelain
Porcelain
This fine porcelain tureen was made by Germany's renowned Meissen Porcelain Manufactory and consists of two pieces: An ovoid base and corresponding lid. The piece is naturalistically mo...
Meissen Porcelain Blue Onion Vase
Meissen Porcelain Blue Onion Vase
Meissen Porcelain
20th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Vintage Meissen blue onion vase with gilt and red accents. Shape "Neuer Ausschnitt". Hallmarked. In excellent condition.
Meissen porcelain, an important life-Size seated m...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Rococo Revival Porcelain
Porcelain
An important Meissen porcelain life-size seated monkey figure by J. J. Kandler with markings from the Rockefeller collection. Cobalt blue crossed swords mark inside the bottom of the tr...
Set of Six Antique Meissen Porcelain Floral Cabinet Plates Marcaloni Period
Set of Six Antique Meissen Porcelain Floral Cabine...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 18th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Set of six Antique Meissen Porcelain floral cabinet plates Marcaloni period The overall condition of this set is very good. Old master hand-painted very fine detail looks so realistic...
Set of Six Meissen Porcelain Tea Cup Saucer & Plat...
Meissen Porcelain
Mid-20th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
A set of six Meissen porcelain tea cup, saucer and plate trios decorated with a matching floral spray on each piece of the trio. It is rare to find these matching trios complete (and...
Mid-18th Century Meissen Porcelain Three-Piece Set
Mid-18th Century Meissen Porcelain Three-Piece Set...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Mid-18th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Mid-18th century Meissen Porcelain three-piece set comprising a milk jug of moulded baluster shape with a branch handle, painted with sprigs and sprays of 'Deutsche Blumen', 11.5cm high...
Meissen Porcelain Demitasse Cup and Saucer Chinese...
Meissen Porcelain
Early 20th Century German Chinoiserie Ceramics
Porcelain
This is a small demitasse cup and saucer by the Meissen factory in fine white porcelain. The cup and saucer both have wavy edges and the cup has a twisted branch handle with leaf attac...
Large 19th Century Meissen Deep Plate with Floral ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Mid-19th Century German Baroque Platters and Serveware
Porcelain
Large decorative plate with painted flowers and gilt decorations. Vivid colors. Great condition. Marked on the back. Very decorative especially as wall decoration. Size: diameter of 3...
Antique 18th Century Marcolini Period Meissen Porcelain Chocolate Pot
Antique 18th Century Marcolini Period Meissen Porc...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 18th Century German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
A good marcolini period Meissen Porcelain chocolate pot. This rare chocolate pot is decorated in an Indian flower variant in purple, green, yellow and blue and retains a period woode...
19th Century Large Meissen Hand-Painted Tureen on Stand
19th Century Large Meissen Hand-Painted Tureen on ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
19th century large Meissen hand-painted porcelain tureen on stand.    
20th Century Meissen Two Handle Serving Tray with Gold Gilt Handles and Boarder
20th Century Meissen Two Handle Serving Tray with ...
Meissen Porcelain
Early 20th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Early 20th century Meissen two handle serving tray with gold gilt handles and boarder. Marked with the Meissen logo and two slashes under the logo.
Meissen Figurine of Cherub as Scottish Lass Dancing
Meissen Figurine of Cherub as Scottish Lass Dancin...
Meissen Porcelain
Early 20th Century German Edwardian Porcelain
Porcelain
Delightful little Meissen porcelain figurine of a cherub as a Scottish lass, curtsying for a dance. From the tam atop her head to her plaid kilt to her little bare feet, she is a rosy-c...
Meissen White Porcelain Large Tray, Hand Gilt High...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Early 1900s German Platters and Serveware
Meissen's Classic design in their signature crisp white porcelain hand decorated with 24-karat gold. An over large size that would fit a coffee or tea service or perhaps an unique cente...
Fine Pair of Antique Meissen Porcelain Figures of Birds
On Hold
Fine Pair of Antique Meissen Porcelain Figures of ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Rococo Porcelain
A fine pair of antique Meissen porcelain figures of birds on branches. Original pair, each marked in blue cross swords and incised model numbers, early to mid-1800s.
Meissen Porcelain Figural Group Emblematic of the ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 18th Century German Louis XVI Porcelain
Porcelain
The seated lady in the Rococo fashion at her dressing table looking into a mirror, with under glazed blue crossed sword mark.
Mid-19th Century Cobalt and Gilt Neoclassical Urn
Mid-19th Century Cobalt and Gilt Neoclassical Urn
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1870s German Neoclassical Porcelain
Porcelain
A Meissen Porcelain vase, this lovely piece features a deep blue body with scrolled snake handles with acanthus termini. The base is gadrooned and fluted with fine classical detailing o...
Meissen Tankard Painted with Rich Gold-Ornaments, ...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 18th Century German Baroque Porcelain
Porcelain
Painted with polychrome park-scenes, courtly figures in a castle prospect Gold painter's mark "A" The lid with an inserted gold-medal of the Regency of Frederick V. One large and t...
Large Meissen Porcelain Model of a Cockatoo
Large Meissen Porcelain Model of a Cockatoo
Meissen Porcelain
Antique Late 19th Century German Belle Époque Porcelain
Porcelain
Perched from a naturalistic tree stump base applied with foliage, with orange glaze to the back of its head, with blue crossed sword marks to underside and incised 1778 and with pressnu...
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Figure
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Figure
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1880s German Rococo Porcelain
Porcelain
Allegorical representation of love and marriage. Right and left of a pedestal with a flower basket Stand two figures, one female holding flowers, the other one male holding a torch. In ...
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Floral Design Bottle Vase
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Floral Design Bottl...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Blue and orange floral design with gold gilt crossed swords mark and number.
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Plate
19th Century Meissen Porcelain Plate
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
Gilt edge decorated with a pair of birds. Blue Meissen cross mark. With original box.
Late 19th Century, Meissen Porcelain Teapot High Handle
Late 19th Century, Meissen Porcelain Teapot High H...
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 1890s German Porcelain
Porcelain
Meissen teapot with high handle and encrusted flowers Crossed swords "pommel mark" Made 1890-1910
Pair of Large Meissen Porcelain Models of Magpies
Pair of Large Meissen Porcelain Models of Magpies
Meissen Porcelain
Antique 19th Century German Porcelain
Porcelain
After the model by J.J. Kändler, each perched from a naturalistic tree stump base applied with foliage, their tails raised and squawking, with black and white body and green, blue and ...