With the current unpredictable economic situation it is difficult to comprehend that any market is succeeding. However, evaluating recent auction results have proven that the value of Meissen porcelain remains financially promising. An October 21, 2008, auction at Christie’s New York boasted sales at 95% for its Meissen lots; including 17 of 18 of these pieces exceeding their estimate. This success is a true testament to Meissen’s timelessness and superior quality.
Meissen is the epitome of European porcelain. The finery’s tradition began in 1710 with the discovery of hard porcelain and the subsequent establishment of the Meissen foundry in Germany. One of the greatest appeals to owning a piece of Meissen porcelain is that every piece is processed and decorated by hand; making all works, whether a table-top figurine or a serving tray, artistically unique. While every piece is essentially an original, Meissen remains true to its traditional form by utilizing the same painting methods for the past three centuries.
The prestige of acquiring Meissen as a symbol of wealth also makes these pieces highly desirable. During the first two centuries of the porcelain’s existence, aristocratic members from every county accumulated Meissen to prove their societal status through culturally-significant items. Popularity of the artistic creations in the upper class caused a shortage of Meissen to the middle class who desired to own the same pieces their heads of state. As a result, the foundry began recreating their earliest examples at a more reasonable cost. Both the 18th and 19th century originals, as well as, the more contemporary recreations are highly collectible.
Need to Authenticate
Inevitably with the high demand of Meissen, an attempt at imitation was sure to follow. As early as 1718, one of the foundry’s own employees tried to counterfeit the porcelain. Due to this attempt, and countless more to follow, a trademark was a necessity. From 1720 until present day, all authentic Meissen bears “Crossed Swords” within the blue underglaze. Many forgeries have attempted to duplicate this trademark and some have succeeded in convincing collectors; inundating the market with highly-believable fakes. With this fact in mind, it is essential to have any piece of Meissen in your collection evaluated for authenticity. Only authentic Meissen porcelain retains its historical significance and monetary value.2010 will mark the third centenary of the porcelain factory’s founding; making today the perfect time to acquire an astounding piece of Meissen. Please contact us regarding any Meissen we are currently offering or with any questions regarding Meissen in your own collection.
-MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.
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