Meissen - Porcelain and Politeness
Meissen - Synonymous with High Quality Porcelain for 300 Years
When I visited Berlin recently, I popped in to the Meissen shop to see what was new. I can tell you that the 300-year-old German porcelain manufacturer - and creator of Europe's first hard-paste porcelain - is going strong judging by the business they were doing. Wonderful to discover that all Meissen porcelain is still manufactured in Meissen. That's exactly what the people in the shop - Chinese, Russians, Anglo-Americans - wanted to hear. They want to buy a little piece of that history, particularly when they are visiting Germany.
Objects from Meissen's archives continue to be manufactured, such as the Four Elements vase above, of which only three are made a year. If these examples of high European culture are too ornate, they have the contemporary and minimal too. The Waves with Swords range, such as the Breakfast Cup below, uses the Meissen cross swords logo, which is derived from the old Saxon coat of arms.
China, the country and originator of porcelain, influenced the design motifs used on earlier Meissen tableware. And now these Asian-influenced designs are finding a ready market in today's China. Some of Meissen's contemporary ranges, such as Ming and Asia are also taking direct aim at this market too.
Meissen - Synonymous with Politeness?
What charming and well-informed staff they have in the Meissen Boutique in Unter der Linden, Berlin. They were knowledgeable, polite and willing and able to discuss the wares. I was just browsing to see if there was a little something to take back for young Mrs Tweed, but I was given all the time in the world and a history of the company at the same time (see below). I left the shop feeling nothing but goodwill for Meissen. In my mind, Meissen is now synonymous with politeness too.
A Brief History of Meissen
The history of the ownership of Meissen is a fascinating reflection of the history of Saxony. Originally owned by the King of Saxony, then the State of Saxony, it passed into ownership of the people when Meissen became part of Soviet East Germany. The People's Own Plant, State China Manufactory, Meissen, no less. Now Meissen is part of a reunified Germany and the manufacturer is now fully-owned by the State of Saxony once more.