Meissen mark tercentenary (1722–2022)
The venerable crossed blue swords with which the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory signs its products are a byword the world over for the authenticity and quality of Meissen porcelain. And 2022 sees Europe’s first trademark turn 300!
After the arcanist (person with knowledge of one or more of the secrets of making porcelain) Samuel Stöltzel had fled to Vienna and divulged all he knew, Europe’s second porcelain factory was set up there. Initially, everything from Meissen was copied. The Manufactory’s then inspector, Johann Melchior Steinbrück, responded in November 1722 by proposing that the crossed swords from the Electoral Saxon arms be used as a means of identifying authentic Meissen porcelains.
The crossed blue swords were combined with the now binding manner of writing “Meissen” as of 1972. This is a form of spelling that, for the purposes of rendering the city’s name more readily intelligible internationally, differs from the way it is normally rendered, i.e. “Meißen”, where the letter “ß” actually stands for a double “s” but would be mistaken for a “B” in other languages.
Specially trained painters have continued to apply the sword mark to Meissen porcelains by hand in underglaze cobalt blue up to the present day. But what does this cobalt blue look like before it has been fired? And how fine must the brush be with which the swords are applied? These are questions that are addressed in the section in our demonstration workshops dealing with underglaze painting.
The Meissen Porcelain Museum has designed media stations for this tercentenary year and invites visitors to delve interactively and with great fun into the history of this Meissen mark.
All is in Flux. Water & Meissen Porcelain
Exhibition in the Museum of the Meissen Porcelain Foundation
16 March 2023 – 25 February 2024
Water is the basis of all life. As one of the four elements of matter, it also inspired the Meissen Manufactory to model the likes of bathers taking a dip, mythological aquatic beings or creatures from the seas. Schemes painted on porcelain have included pond landscapes, scenes of maritime commerce and individuals fishing. Water is emblematic of sources and origins, of motion and purity. Tableware shapes incorporate aquatic motifs in the form, for instance, of sea-shells and relief-moulded waves. The exhibition covers three centuries of Meissen porcelains.
PR-photo: Lidded vase by Willy Münch-Khe with Fish pattern by Otto Eduard Voigt, c. 1912, © Meissen Porzellan-Stiftung
The world‘s first organ made of MEISSEN® porcelain
The world’s first organ to feature pipes made of MEISSEN Porcelain is a consummate example of porcelain art.
Augustus the Strong, founder of the Manufactory, had commissioned an organ with porcelain pipes to be made way back in the early 18th century. It was not until the year 2000 that the job was completed, though.
Guests from all over the world have been succumbing to the magic of music produced by MEISSEN Porcelain pipes ever since.
Listen to the contrast between wooden, metal and porcelain pipes, when they guide through ages like the museum does.
Dates: by prior arrangement
Price: € 200.-/group, € 1.- seating per person if group consists of more than 30 persons
Duration: 15-20 minutes
Digitally relive the invention of Europe’s first porcelain
In a new exhibition area, the Museum lets visitors delve into the mysterious origins of Meissen porcelain with the aid of a special multivisual presentation.
Dynamic lighting and vivid projections combine with historical exhibits in finest porcelain and, at their heart, the “Philosopher’s Stone” to bring the space dramatically alive. Text inserts and film sequences allow the Meissen Manufactory’s genesis more than 300 years ago to be interactively experienced – visitors learn much of interest about Johann Friedrich Böttger, famous alchemist and inventor of Meissen porcelain, and those who assisted him. There is no extra charge for this presentation, which can be viewed in either German or English.
„From "Snowball Blossoms" and the "Swan Service" all the way to contemporary sculptures – the Meissen manufactory’s legacy is unparalleled in the history of European porcelain.“