Meissen: The Great Call of China

Europe's First Porcelain Maker Celebrates Its 300th Anniversary

As beautiful as it is brittle, porcelain has long enchanted those who covet its shimmering lines. The original European porcelain manufactory, Meissen, was founded in 1710 and celebrates its remarkable tri-centennial this year with strictly limited Anniversary Collection releases from its vast archives. From a magnificently understated bisque “Indian rhinoceros” (created in 1732) to an baroque dolphin tureen (dated to 1770) that owes much to both Hieronymus Bosch and Bernini, the collection serves to illustrate a succession of tastes evolved over the past 300 years. There are also lesser-known designs from recent times, including a geometric coffee service from the 80s (1980s, that is), entirely reminiscent of the Memphis Movement. Located in eastern Germany, the Meissen manufactory employs 800 skilled workers––artists and artisans whose work is indistinguishable from the handicrafts of their forebears––and the company’s hand-produced and hand-painted pieces have graced the homes of royals and regulars throughout its three-century reign. Here’s to 300 more years.

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