Meissen Porcelain remained the initial European hard-paste ceramic developed in Germany. In 1708 after the death of Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, Johann Friedrich Böttger continued the work of Walther and brought porcelain to the market. The making of Meissen started in 1710 that attracted and involved both artists and artisans to create and start one of the most renowned porcelain manufacturers in the world. The crossed swords are the signature logo and the oldest trademarks in existence of the Meissen creation and was introduced in 1720 to shield its production.
Meissen: Early Works
The first form of porcelain shaped by Böttger was a refined and exceptionally hard red stoneware known in Germany that reserved a very crisp portrayal in its establishment. Reproductions were derived from Baroque silver and Chinese ceramic forms. Meissen was primed as a hard paste white porcelain that could be glazed and painted on to detailed bodies that could be refined to a luster previously to the firing process.
Böttger's tentative wares gained superiority and the primary successful ornaments were gold decorations applied upon the fired body. Multicolor coated tints where familiarized by Johann Gregorius Höroldt in 1723, with a progressively wide-ranging palette of colors that manifested the start of the classic period of Meissen porcelain.
The signature underglaze "Meissen Blue" was familiarized by Friedrich August Köttig. The themes that were found on Meissen where of detailed landscapes and port scenes, as well as faunas and floras subjects and whimsical Chinese inspired decorations.
The vases and tea wares of Japanese porcelain were imitated as "Flowers of the Indies". Paintings by Watteau were also copied and were sold in dense glazed colors, to be coated in remote workshops and to be independently retailed. The support of Augustus' patronage attracted to Meissen some of the finest painters and modelers of European workforce artists.
The Albrechtsburg was applied to guard the mysteries of the production of the white gold. As an added insurance, very limited workers knew the special secret of how to make porcelain, and only a portion of the development. Meissen reserved its domination on the production of hard-paste porcelain in Europe. Until 1717 a rival assembly was set up at Vienna, as Samuel Stöltzel traded the secret recipe, which involved the use of kaolin known as china clay. By 1760 around thirty porcelain makers were functioning in Europe and most of them making frit grounded soft-paste porcelain.
In order to recognize the original Meissen products, a development design was dyed on and were fired in underglaze blue. Early markings such as “AR” , “K.P.M.”, “M.P.M.”, and “K.P.F.” were ultimately substituted by the crossed swords logo, established on “the arms of the Elector of Saxony as Arch-Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire”.
In 1720, the logo was presented and used steadily after 1731 by official ruling. Deviations in the logo allowed an estimate dating of the wares, but in the 18th century, the mark was not considered significant and was positioned on the back side of figurines and plates in an unpolished manor.
Meissen: History of its Artistic Development
In 1720 Johann Gregorius Höroldt has grown to be the chief and presented brilliant colors which made Meissen porcelain prominent.
The following sculptor, Johann Jakob Kirchner, was the first to make significant large scaled sculptures and figurines, particularly of Baroque saints. His associate was Johann Joachim Kaendler; in 1733 Kirchner resigned Kaendler to take over as the "model master" and became the greatest of the Meissen sculptors. Under his course Meissen shaped the sequence of small figurines, portraying scenes of chivalry, the primitive knightly classification with its religious focusses. Moreover, his large-scale animals that where left in white where the elevating themes of European porcelain production, resulting in the creation of exquisite and delicate collectibles in the rococo era that affected the manufacturing of porcelain in all of Europe.
In 1756, during the Seven Years' War, Prussian troops occupied Meissen, giving Frederick II of Prussia the chance to reposition some of the artificers. With the altering tastes of the neoclassical period, Meissen had to readjust its makings by reforming a new director to become the “model master”. From 1774, the undertakings into Neoclassicism and Sèvres styles, the wares had the unglazed lusterless biscuit porcelain with the result of white marble that manifested the fabrication productivity under Count Camillo Marcolini.
In the 19th century Ernst August Leuteritz modernized many of the rococo porcelains, and re-released them by forming a "Second Rococo" categorized and additional details where put such as lacework and representations of floras. During this period English collectors and amassers used the term “Dresden porcelain” to label and define these wares and figurines.
In 1903, under Erich Hösel, who came to be head of the modelling department, old styles of Meissen were invigorated and reinterpreted. He also restored eighteenth century models and some interesting work in the Art Nouveau style was formed.
After 1933, the arty liberty of the artists became controlled by the State of Saxony in agreement with the contemporary development of teaching a person or a group to receive a set of principles uncritically in Germany, some of the Meissen artists who had contributed to liberal and open-mindedness during the Weimar period were banned.
After World War II and under the Communist rule, Meissen was in risk and became a factory simply generating for the masses. Until 1969, when Karl Petermann became the leader, that Meissen went back to emphasis on its old customs and allowed an unrestricted artistic expression.
Meissen: Tableware Patterns
In the following there are four forms of tableware patterns during the production of Meissen:
"New Cutout”: In 1720 Böttger made the first production of tableware that were plain and in 1745 Kaendler created this new design and form that had the wavy edge cut.
“Swan Service”: This famed design was made in 1737-43, at the conclusion of World War II, the fragments of the swan service were distributed amongst collectors and museums and the pattern remains till this day.
“Blue Onion”: This pattern has been in production since 1739 and is probably inspired by a Chinese bowl from the Kangxi period. Being a popular pattern became widespread that the German Supreme Court in 1926 ruled that the term "Meissen Onion Pattern", that have the pomegranates depicted ever been likened to onions.
"Court Dragon" and "Red Dragon": This sequence of tableware arrays Chinese dragons, that are ornamented pottery in which the painted decoration is applied to the surface before it is enclosed with a clear ceramic glaze and fired in a kiln. They are usually found with a red gilt along with details hovering around the border of the plate and a pendant found at the center.
“Purple Rose” and “Vine-leaf”: These patterns are also popular and still in production.
The rarity and expenditure of Meissen porcelain formerly took orders from the elites of European countries. The European amassed huge collections and later emerged in the United States where they started their own collections. Many of these assortments then found their way into the world's great museums.