As early as the 13th century, porcelain was a highly coveted item in the royal courts of Europe and was imported from China at extravagant prices. Attempts were made starting from the early 18th century to reproduce the “White Gold” in Europe, with alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger finding success in Meissen in 1708 under commission from Saxony’s royal court. That discovery marked the beginning of a legend that was sealed two years later with the founding of the “Royal-Polish and Electoral-Saxon Porcelain Manufactory” by royal decree of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, in Meissen’s Albrechtsburg palace. The Crossed Swords from the royal crest, the cobalt blue trademark of the manufactory, testify to its porcelain quality since 1722. As the oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe, the Meissen manufactory occupies a special position among the porcelain manufactories around the world. Its figurines, large sculptures, table services and porcelain objects have shaped the course of porcelain history. Its world renown is founded on its craftsmanship and technical expertise as well as its rich artistic tradition: Starting in Meissen’s Baroque era, which laid the groundwork for European porcelain design, to its iconic floral embellishments and “Onion Pattern”, that wrote decoration history, all the way to its animal sculptures of the 20th century. In every era, the Meissen manufactory has brought forth some of the most revered porcelain artists of their time, whose masterpieces to this day are still recreated in the manufactory workshops using the same artisanal techniques. These pieces not only reflect the immense breadth of artistic eras, but also the boundless creativity and artistic inquisitiveness that stoke the workings at MEISSEN to this day.
Open Day 2024 at the MEISSEN Porcelain Manufactory
Take a peep behind the scenes at Europe’s oldest porcelain manufactory, experience our unique craftsmanship as it happens and speak to the people who bring such extraordinary works of art to finely crafted life. Once again on 26–27 April 2024, Europe’s premier porcelain manufactory will at long last be opening up the doors to its hallowed production premises so you can see for yourself how finest Meissen porcelain is traditionally and lovingly hand-crafted.
Spend an unforgettable day with us enjoying guided tours, talks, fun-filled exchanges and, of course, our major sale. You will additionally have a richly varied range of entertainment, activities for kids and many other highlights to look forward to.
About the Manufactory
Since its founding in 1710, the Meissen porcelain manufactory has stood for the highest-quality porcelain and the utmost workmanship. Charting new territory in the creation of innovative porcelain objects is as much a part of the manufactory’s tradition as the observation of its own rich heritage. For this, MEISSEN can draw on the world’s oldest and most comprehensive collection of historic models and plaster moulds – 700.000 in total. Meanwhile the manufactory’s paint laboratory safeguards 10.000 colour recipes, while constantly developing new hues of expression. By channelling this rich heritage through the manufactory’s lived craft, porcelain pieces are created, that attain the highest standards of exclusivity and individuality.DISCOVER