About Meissen Porcelain
The Meissen Porcelain Manufactory was founded in 1710 in the town of Meissen, which is close to Dresden in the eastern part of Germany. Meissen is the first European porcelain and is until today the most prestigious and most expensive porcelain. For three centuries until today every piece has been hand-molded, hand-painted and later on gilded with 24 karat gold.
In the early days it was almost entirely used by the royals and noblemen of Europe and often given as a royal present. Some of the greatest Meissen lovers were Catherine the Great of Russia, Frederic the Great of Prussia (who later poached some of Meissen’s best people to set up KPM Berlin), Winston Churchill’s family and the Dutch royal household. Even today Meissen is often used as diplomatic gift. When Barack Obama visited Germany for the first time he was given a pair of Meissen cufflinks by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Meissen has over many generations been used as a means of “alternative investment”. It was often traded at very high prices and at an early time received the nickname “white gold”. During the 2nd World War a lot of Germans, even in the most desperate of situations, did not sell their Meissen but instead were burying it in their cellars and gardens in hope for better times. Until today, at auctions Meissen among all the European porcelains achieves the highest results. In 2005 a pair of white cranes was sold at Sotheby’s for 5.2 Million Euro, making it the most expensive piece of European porcelain ever sold.
The famous Meissen crossed swords, one of the oldest trademarks in the world. It has been used in different forms and variations since 1722.
The development of the Meissen swords over time.