1710 was the year when Meissen porcelain or Meissen china became the first European produced hard-paste porcelain to appear. The production of this porcelain was established in Meissen, an area near Dresden, which then attracted artists and artisans who went on to create one of the most famous porcelain manufacturing companies, who created a variety of items including Meissen porcelain figurines which became widely sought after. This establishment is still in business today, re-named Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen GmbH and continues producing Meissen figurines some using the original molds. In 1720 its signature logo, the crossed swords, was introduced aiming to protect its production. This trademark, the mark of the crossed swords, is one of the oldest trademarks in existence. Items bearing this trademark can be found at www.ivoryandart.com.
The appearance of the Meissen porcelain figurine
Despite Johann Friedrich Böttger holding the title as the first manufacturer of Meissen porcelain, Augustus II, the King of Saxony and Poland is known to be the driving force behind the creation of Meissen porcelain figurines as he wished to fill his palace with porcelain objects, including a collection of hundreds of life-size animals. Johann Joachim Kändler was entrusted with the creation of these Meissen figurines.
Kändler then sculpted harlequins and other Italian commedia dell’arte and theatrical Meissen figurines, as well as caricatures of members of Augustus III’s court.
During the 18th century, Meissen porcelain figurines consisted greatly of animals, such as monkeys in tricorn hats playing different musical instruments.
In the 19th century the Meissen figurine was modernised by Ernst August Leuteritz who the reissued many of the rococo figurines creating a “Second Rococo” characterized by lacework details and applied flowers. These are referred to as Dresden porcelain. In 1903 Erich Hösel, modelling department, revived and reinterpreted some old styles he also restored eighteenth-century models. The artistic movement was, however, stilled by the restrictions imposed by the State of Saxony in 1933. It took over 35 years for Meissen to recover and regain its artistic feel.
Meissen porcelain figurines from all the aforementioned eras can be purchased at www.ivoryandart.com where we pay the utmost attention to authenticity as the quality
of the items.