Meissen China Dinnerware

Selecting Meissen porcelain pieces for your collection can be a rewarding endeavor. Identifying and understanding the types of pieces available can help you with making a selection. Here are answers to some questions that may come up in the process.

What is the difference between Dresden and Meissen Porcelain?

Early Dresden pieces have been commonly mistaken for Meissen pieces in the past. Before 1883, Dresden pieces were made from Meissen pieces that were discarded by the factory. These pieces can be identified by a blue crown mark. There were originally four companies producing this style and they used the same crown mark. This can make it hard to identify the origin of early pieces.

How do you select a Meissen porcelain piece?

Finding the right Meissen piece for your art collection can be overwhelming with the different styles to choose from. Here are some tips for selecting a Meissen piece.

  • Choose a style. Meissen porcelain has been produced since the early 18th century. Earlier pieces can be hard to find and some are in museum collections.
  • The weight of the Meissen piece should also be a factor to consider. Pieces such as dinnerware will have some added weight due to the better quality materials used.
  • Select from either ornamental or functional wares. Functional wares may be a part of a larger set while ornamental wares can vary.

What types of Meissen porcelain pieces are available?

Meissen has produced a wide variety of pieces made of German porcelain. Here are some of the options available when making a selection.

  • Figures - Some common themes include harlequins, animals, and scenes that depict life at the time. Porcelain figures replaced the sugar mold figurines with a more permanent option.
  • Tableware - Early pieces of tableware were undecorated. Two patterns that have been produced the longest have been the Blue Onion and the Swan Service set that were initially designed in the 1700s.
  • Vases - Most Meissen porcelain vases will have ornamental flowers or animals in the deep blue colour that’s typical of the artists.

What are some tips for identifying a Meissen piece?

There are many similar makers of porcelain that are similar to Meissen porcelain. Understanding the different ways to identify Meissen porcelain will help you when you make a selection.

  • Check the porcelain piece for the Meissen mark. This can usually be found on the bottom of the porcelain piece and can be identified by the crossed blue swords. Some of the earliest marks had the king’s initials on them as well. The type of mark used can be helpful in identifying the date.
  • Check for the weight of the porcelain piece. Some reproduction pieces may look similar in appearance to authentic Meissen porcelain but will be made of a lighter material than the original.