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Meissen

Meissen is a small town in Germany on the Elbe river in Saxony which is famous for the production of porcelain. It dates back to the early 18th century when the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger discovered the formula for producing hard-paste porcelain which was previously unknown to Europeans.

The Meissen factory is generally regarded to be the first producer of true hard paste porcelain in Europe. It was established in 1710 in the town of Meissen in Saxony under the auspices of the state’s ruler, the Elector Augustus the Strong.

Some of the designs have been in continuous use since the 18th century and many of the ornamental wares and figures were originally inspired by the oriental prototypes they sought to emulate. However, over the years, European subjects and decoration became increasingly important.


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Traditional ceramics head to London auctions in the latest formats

06 May 2019

While Sotheby’s and Christie’s no longer hold regular dedicated auctions of European ceramics, they still cater for elements of this market in their main centres worldwide via series of mixed-discipline traditional decorative arts auctions.

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Marvellous Meissen collection includes Kaendler cockerel

29 April 2019

It is thought that the prestigious Meissen designer Johann Joachim Kaendler drew the inspiration for his teapot in the form of a reclining cockerel from a Chinese model he found in the royal collection in Dresden.

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Historicism reigns at Minton and Meissen

18 March 2019

A massive 3ft (92cm) high majolica urn – a riot of grotesque masks, mythical figures and other motifs drawn from Renaissance sources – combining the talents of two key figures in the history of the Minton factory was included in Fonsie Mealy’s (20% buyer’s premium) sale on March 5.

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Dealer offers fine and extensive single-owner collection of porcelain in sections over a year

21 January 2019

Building a collection can be the work of a lifetime. Selling is often a much quicker affair. But dealer Haydn Hansell of Juno Antiques is being far from hasty when it comes to the fine assortment of mostly 18th century porcelain he offers this year.

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Meissen sea goddess figure group at Leslie Hindman leads selection of US auction highlights

14 January 2019

A late 19th century Meissen figure group offered at Leslie Hindman in Chicago features in ATG's selection of auction highlights in the US this winter.

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Collectors tips from Serhat Ahmet: Meissen porcelain in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods

04 December 2018

Tips on how to spot and understand Art Nouveau and Art Deco Meissen porcelain was the focus of a recent BADA Friends event with Serhat Ahmet, a second-generation dealer in fine European porcelain.

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The count rides into auction yet again

29 October 2018

The appearance of the 19th century Meissen figure based on Kaendler’s original Count Bruhl’s Tailor begins to bring to mind Monty Python’s Green Knight as he rides undaunted into UK auctions despite his increasingly battered state.

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Meissen tailor saddles up again at auction in Leicestershire

17 September 2018

A scarce Meissen figure, but no stranger to these pages in recent months (see ATG No 2349), Count Bruhl’s Tailor rode his goat to more success at Gildings (15% buyer’s premium) on September 4.

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Meissen teapot among top sales at 'A Collectors’ Paradise'

06 August 2018

This early Meissen teapot and cover was among the stand-out sales at the joint selling exhibition 'A Collectors’ Paradise' held at Brian Haughton Gallery in St James’s.

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Tailor-made to fit into Liss selection

02 July 2018

The Meissen model of Count Bruhl’s Tailor was a major attraction at Hampshire auction house Jacobs & Hunt (26% buyer’s premium).

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Meissen pug group in paradise

25 June 2018

Among the highlights Brian Haughton offers in 'A Collectors’ Paradise' is this Meissen group of a Danish pug dog with her two puppies, modelled c.1745 by JJ Kaendler (1706-75) and painted black, brown and white.

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Rare MPM mark sends early Meissen teapot to £14,200 at Colchester sale

19 February 2018

A small collection of 18th century European porcelain offered by Reeman Dansie in Colchester included this Meissen teapot and cover c.1725.

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Controversial Meissen figure can leave the UK

16 October 2017

The estate of a prominent Jewish art collector has failed to secure the return of a rare Meissen figure that was the subject of a recent export stop.

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Budge estate seeks return of Böttger figure

30 May 2017

The estate of prominent Jewish art collector Emma Budge has appealed for a rare early 18th century Meissen stoneware figure – the subject of a recent export stop – to be returned.

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Export bar for Commedia dell’arte Meissen figure

08 May 2017

A very rare Meissen Böttger stoneware figure has been barred from export from the UK by the government.

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5 Questions: Meissen specialist Alexandra Alfandary

10 April 2017

Alexandra Alfandary specialises in Meissen ware and other European porcelain, with a particular concentration on 19th century Meissen. She is a regular exhibitor at fairs and is a member of BADA and LAPADA. Her shop is in Portobello Road.

Like Day and Night – figures restored and sell at Bonhams

07 December 2015

A 21in (53cm) pair of late 19th century Meissen figures emblematic of Day and Night after the models by Heinrich Schwabe were sold by Bonhams in support of West Dean College’s full-time ceramics conservation programme.

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Meissen squirrels fetch £45,000 at Sussex auction

28 March 2014

Estimated at £8000-12,000, this rare pair of Meissen figures of red squirrels, c.1750, modelled by J.J.Kändler, took £45,000 at Bellmans auctions of Wisborough Green, near Billingshurst.

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Meissen squirrels spotted in West Sussex

12 March 2014

Auctioneers Bellmans will include a pair of Meissen squirrels, modelled by J.J.Kändler and dated to c.1750 in their forthcoming sale.

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18th century Meissen revived via 21st century technology

28 January 2014

The cutting-edge technology of 3D printing is being used to restore a spectacular Meissen table fountain that is to go on public display for the first time in 150 years when the V&A’s new ‘Europe 1600-1800’ galleries open in late 2014.