Until the 18th century, many alchemists eagerly attempted to make gold. The Elector of Saxony, August the Strong, also wanted someone to create this precious metal for him. So the news that a certain Johann Friedrich Böttger claimed to be able to make gold from lead came at just the right time. Together with natural scientist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, Böttger devoted himself – whether he liked it or not – to the matter of gold-making. In 1708, by chance, the two men discovered something completely different – the first European porcelain, or “white gold”!
August the Strong quickly recognised that this “white gold” was almost as valuable as the real thing. From Vienna he fetched the skilled modeller Johann Joachim Kändler (whose models are still used to make various objects today) and painter Johan Gregorius Höroldt, who would enhance the white porcelain with the most beautiful paintings.