This is a beautiful and very charming set of 6 small dessert plates made by Meissen between 1852 and 1870. Two of the six plates are slightly smaller than the others, but they all have the same shape, rim pattern and style so they perfectly look like one set. 


The Meissen factory was the first in Europe to make porcelain, thanks to the experiments by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus in the first years of the 18th Century. The factory, which had Royal patronage under Augustus the Strong, started producing porcelain in Meissen, near Dresden, in 1710. Throughout the early to mid 18th Century it was the leader in European porcelain making; later, due to the many wars plaguing the continent, the French Sèvres factory became an important competitor. The signature logo of two blue crossed swords was introduced in 1720; it is believed that this is one of the oldest trade marks in existence. Meissen remained one of the main European porcelain factories throughout the later 18th and 19th Centuries, and still is today. Meissen porcelain is known for its hardness and incredibly high standards; it is unusual to find any imperfections on a Meissen piece.


These plates are very cleanly potted in the typical hard white Meissen porcelain. They have slightly lobed rims with a simple gilt pattern and some bugs and butterflies. The centre of each plate has hand painted birds; some are fantastical birds of paradise, while others are well-known birds: two beautiful peacocks together with a chicken, and a nice scene of two chickens with little chicks and their cockerel on the lookout. 


All plates are marked with the Meissen mark from between 1815 and 1924 with two scratched slashes, which were used between 1852 and 1870 for second quality plates, presumably because some have some very faint soot marks in the porcelain.


CONDITION REPORT All plates are in perfect condition without damage, repairs, crazing or significant wear other than some very slight rubbing here and there. As mentioned, there are some very faint soot marks baked into the porcelain.


Antique porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. Porcelain makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.


There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!


DIMENSIONS: 20.5cm (8") and 19.5cm (7.75").


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

Set of 6 Meissen dessert plates, various hand painted birds, 1852-1870

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