Ein Angebot des Landesverbands der Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft Sachsen e.V.

Meissen porcelain


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.

From invention to serial production

In 1709, the first mass production of porcelain began in Meissen, initially at the Albrechtsburg. Later, August the Strong established the first porcelain factory, from which the famous Meissen Porcelain began its triumphal march throughout Europe and subsequently all over the world.

Meissen – crossed shortswords

In 1710, as a result of a patent and despite the strongly cherished silence of those involved, the secret of porcelain manufacture reached Viennese ears. The subsequent competition meant that a distinctive identifying marker was needed for Meissen porcelain: the crossed shortswords. After replacing other letter-based signs also used at the time (e.g. the initials ‘AR’ for Augustus Rex), it has continued to stand as a symbol of quality and art at the highest level ever since.

MEISSEN® crossed shortswords

Did you know…?

Meissen porcelain manufacture does not just produce crockery and figures, but also interior furnishings, accessories and jewellery. Numerous collections featuring the most valuable creations of noble metals, porcelain and gemstones will certainly delight and inspire jewellery lovers.

MEISSEN® assortment

There is a particular story surrounding the pug dog, …

MEISSEN® - Le Club du Mops

… which is honoured at the Meissen jewellery collection Le Club du Mops. The pug is a symbol of loyalty and enjoyed great popularity among noblewomen in Baroque Europe. The legendary Order of the Pug – a secret Freemason lodge, which even allowed women to become members for the first time – gave the animal additional prominence.

August the Strong was also a lover of pugs and a silent devotee of the order. He gave his lover, the famed Countess Cosel, a pug dog created in Meissen porcelain as a token of his love.