Meissen German Porcelain Marks Plate
Meissen porcelain started in Dresden, Germany in 1709, under the direction of Johann Friedrich Bottger, with the sponsorship of Augustus the Strong, (Augustas Rex), the elector of Saxony. The first pieces of Meissen porcelain were actually red stoneware, known as Böttger stoneware, and first sold at the Leipzig Easter Fair in 1710.
In June of that same year a royal porcelain factory in Meissen (commissioned by Augustas), was completed, and the operation was transferred from Dresden to Meissen. Bottger continued to sell the red stoneware from the Meissen Manufactury until he perfected his formula for hard-paste white porcelain in 1713, at which time all Meissen production switched to the new porcelain formula.
Bottger’s new formula and manufacturing process produced such fine and delicate porcelain that he is credited with being the father of all European porcelain.
Continually added to, and updated, the Meissen Manufactury still produces fine porcelain pieces to this day.
Meissen used a variety of factory and maker’s marks from its inception. Their famous crossed swords didn’t become the official Meissen mark until 1722-23.
Since 1722-23, and to this day, the crossed-swords mark has always been a hand-painted blue under-glaze mark. This mark has officially undergone several variations, as shown below;
Here is a printable reference file of Meissen Factory and Dating Marks
- Those neat and concise illustrations, (above), were created for publication. The actual hand-painted Meissen marks found on their porcelain pieces would look more like the images below.
Cautionary Note: Meissen used a system of marking pieces that were either sold undecorated or deemed inferior, by making “slashes” through or beside the crossed swords – as shown below.
- one slash – sold undecorated from 1740 through 1938
- two slashes – tableware deemed of unsuitable quality from 1852 through 1870
- three slashes – items of brack quality, (contained firing faults), from 1852 through 1870
- four slashes – considered lowest quality, from 1852 through 1870
This is an actual Meissen quality mark found on a tea service that was listed for $4995.00.
Seller described the set as exquisite Meissen quality, and the photos did show that the set was gorgeous to an untrained eye, but even so, it was not up to Meissen’s standards, and there was no mention that the factory mark showed that Meissen deemed the set to be unsuitable for tableware.
There were at least two other “official” Meissen marks used between 1920 and 1930.
Meissen AR Monogram
Meissen AF Monogram
M.P.M. – Meissner Porzellan Manufaktur, (Meissen Porcelain Manufactury). Used in 1722
K.P.F. – Königliche Porzellan Fabrique, (Royal Porcelain Fabricator). Used in 1722
K.P.M. – Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur, (Royal Porcelain Manufactury). Used after 1722
Prior to 1720, there were many other artists, throwers, formers, and maker’s marks used on Meissen porcelains, (and also on Bottgers Stoneware), and many pieces carried multiple marks, in conjunction with the official blue under-glazed swords.
• Image Source: arts-antique.com/Meissen_Marks.htm
See a detailed history of Meissen Porcelain, factory marks, date marks, artists, molders, throwers, and maker’s marks, by Jim Harren: Meissen Porcelain: German Porcelain – Volume 1.
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