Meissen china

Meissen China: A Look into the History of Fine Porcelain

meissen china history

Meissen China

Meissen china, also known as Meissen porcelain, is a type of porcelain that has been prized for its exquisite craftsmanship, intricate designs, and high quality since the early 18th century. Produced in the town of Meissen, Germany, this fine porcelain has been coveted by collectors and enthusiasts of fine tableware for centuries. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the history of Meissen china, its characteristics, and its enduring appeal.

Meissen china history

Meissen china was first produced in 1708, when Augustus II the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, established the Royal Porcelain Factory in Meissen. The factory was created with the aim of producing porcelain that rivaled the finest Chinese porcelain, which was highly prized by European aristocrats at the time. The first Meissen porcelain pieces were blue and white, and featured designs inspired by Chinese and Japanese ceramics. The factory soon expanded its production to include polychrome pieces, which were painted with a range of colors and elaborate designs.

Over the years, Meissen porcelain became increasingly popular among European aristocrats, who commissioned custom pieces for their dining tables and salons. The factory also produced figurines, which were highly collectible and often displayed in cabinets of curiosities. Meissen porcelain became synonymous with luxury and refinement, and its popularity continued to grow throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

Meissen china characteristics

Meissen china is characterized by its delicate, translucent body, which is created by firing a mixture of kaolin, feldspar, and quartz at high temperatures. The porcelain is then glazed and decorated with a range of techniques, including hand painting, transfer printing, and gilding. Meissen porcelain is known for its intricate designs, which often feature elaborate floral patterns, mythological scenes, and historical figures.

meissen china mark

The factory's signature "crossed swords" china mark, which was first used in the 1720s, is still used to authenticate Meissen porcelain today.


Meissen china prices can vary greatly depending on the specific piece, age, condition, rarity, and other factors. Antique Meissen porcelain pieces, particularly those from the 18th and 19th centuries, can command high prices at auction and from dealers. For example, a Meissen porcelain figurine from the 18th century can sell for tens of thousands of dollars or more, while a Meissen tea set from the same period can sell for several thousand dollars.

Contemporary Meissen porcelain pieces are also available at a range of price points. Some newer pieces can be purchased for under a hundred pounds, while others, such as limited edition or artist-designed pieces, can be significantly more expensive.

It's important to note that the authenticity and condition of Meissen china can greatly impact its value. Meissen porcelain pieces with original marks and in excellent condition will typically command higher prices than pieces with damage, restoration, or fake marks.

If you're interested in purchasing Meissen china, it's important to do your research and work with reputable dealers or auction houses. Prices can vary greatly, so it's a good idea to get multiple opinions and compare prices before making a purchase.


Meissen china continues to be highly prized by collectors and enthusiasts of fine tableware today. Its exquisite craftsmanship, intricate designs, and historical significance make it a desirable addition to any collection. Meissen porcelain is also highly functional, and its durability and resistance to chipping and scratching make it a practical choice for everyday use.

In recent years, the Meissen factory has continued to produce new designs and collaborations with contemporary artists and designers, while also preserving the traditional techniques and craftsmanship that have made Meissen china famous. Today, Meissen porcelain remains a symbol of luxury, refinement, and timeless elegance.

In conclusion, Meissen china is a testament to the enduring appeal of fine porcelain. Its rich history, intricate designs, and exquisite craftsmanship make it a treasure for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Whether displayed in a cabinet of curiosities or used for everyday dining, Meissen porcelain is a timeless reminder of the beauty and artistry of fine tableware.

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