Plate from the Swan Service

Meissen Porcelain Factory1737/1743

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

In 1710, Augustus the Strong—Elector of Saxony and King of Poland—established a porcelain factory after two of his workers discovered the formula for hard-paste porcelain, a coveted secret previously known only in Asia. Located in Meissen (in what is now Germany), the porcelain factory was placed under the supervision of the prime minister, Heinrich, Count von Bruhl, in 1733. Von Bruhl soon arranged for the production of a magnificent dinner service that would bear his coat of arms. Four years in the making, this famous set—known as the Swan Service—originally contained more than 2,200 pieces and remained in the possession of his family until after World War II.

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  • Title: Plate from the Swan Service
  • Creator: Meissen Porcelain Factory
  • Date Created: 1737/1743
  • Physical Dimensions: w37.9 x h6.4 cm (overall)
  • Type: Ceramic
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Hard-paste porcelain
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Rienzi Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III