Dressed in Dresden

Most people have heard of Dresden porcelain china. They know it is a high-end porcelain, it’s pretty and collectible. That is about what most people know about it, me included until I became curious when I ran into this little number below that I listed in my shop recently. It is quite pretty, hand-decorated and over a hundred years old. I hope I look this good at 100!

Dresden Chocolate Pot
Dresden Chocolate Pot circa 1910

I love this little chocolate pot. I dug around and this is what I found out about Dresden porcelain. According to Kovel’s, Dresden refers to the place the porcelain is made not the type of porcelain it is.

dresden bowl
Dresden Center Bowl

Collector’s Weekly states that Dresden, Germany is where the factory of an alchemist by the name of Johann Friedrich Böttger was founded in 1708. Although porcelain had been discovered by the Chinese as early as 100 B.C., the western world had still not been able to recreate the delicate white substance.  Böttger finally discovered a way to make a hard-paste porcelain made from a local mud mix of “Kaolin and Clay” (marks4antiques.com) which he began to produce in Meissen, Germany around 1710, where the factory had moved. 

Dresden Serving Dish
Dresden Serving Dish circa 180os

So the actual Dresden porcelain was produced in Meissen and these two names get mixed up. You will see the Meissen porcelain mark (crossed swords) and Dresden porcelain mark (crown) but both will be called Dresden. Since its creation, it began to be loved and desired by collectors. Once people knew the “recipe” it began to be made in other places. You will see West Germany, Bavaria, even Ireland Dresden.

During the war, most of the porcelain producers were completely destroyed in Germany and needed to be rebuilt. Collector’s Weekly says that Dresden kept over 200 porcelain-decorating  shops busy during World War II.

dresden couple2
Dresden Couple 

One of the more famous techniques that Dresden created was dipping real lace into liquid porcelain. They would then attach it to a figure and fire it. The real lace would burn up but leave behind an intricate and delicate porcelain lace. Dresses and clothing were imitated in this way making the pieces very detailed although a bit fragile.

Dresden porcelain is still highly collectible. It commands high prices as it has been synonymous with quality since its creation.

dresden plate
Dresden Place Settings

Unfortunately, when you are good, there are many forgers waiting to capitalize on your name.

Dresden dancers


Dresden is no exception. The crossed swords and AR mark have been among the most forged marks in the world. You need to check all the marks on your pieces to be sure you have Dresden porcelain.



I hope you have enjoyed learning about Dresden porcelain this week. Stop by Vintage Eve’s  and enjoy a little look into the past and say hi.

Have a great week!





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