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Talk: The White Gold of Meissen

Slideshow Shim

A Tale of Power, Alchemy, Intrigue, and Greed

In the 17th century Portuguese and Dutch merchants began trading with China.  They brought to Europe a special cargo, porcelain of a quality and beauty unknown in the West.  It quickly became a symbol of power for the elite, and a collection mania spread all over Europe.  The Chinese kept the production of porcelain a closely guarded secret, and nobody was able to break it, until in a small town in Saxony the mystery of making porcelain was discovered.

Volunteer Elke Stead tells the true story of four men who were involved in making the ‘white gold’ of Meissen which rivalled anything the Chinese produced:  the King whose obsession and greed financed the process; the alchemist who in his search for the philosopher’s stone discovered porcelain; the artist who developed colours and patterns of exceptional brilliance; and the sculptor who modelled fantastic objects still appreciated today.

Three hundred years later the ‘white gold’ is still being made in Meissen, and many amazing items can be admired in museums around the world.

Sunday 5th August, 2pm
Tickets are £2 or free to Friends of the Russell-Cotes. Please book on 01202 451858.

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  • csm_Lempertz 1056 1001 Kunstgewerbe Meissen Johann Friedrich Eberlein Four Meissen porcelain fi_76a9b375b4

05th August 18 - 05th August 18

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