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The porcelain manufactory founded by Augustus the Strong (reg. 1694-1733), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, was located in a castle in Meissen, Germany, high above the Elbe River – a perfect location for safeguarding the secrets of porcelain. To further deter industrial espionage, operations at the castle were separated into independent divisions of labor – paste-makers, molders, kilnsmen, modelers, sculptors and painters – an organizational system that prevented any one individual from mastering the entire production process.
In the 1720s, Meissen adopted a logo (or identifying trademark) of small, blue crossed swords, derived from a motif on Augustus the Strong’s coat of arms. The mark could be seen on the underside of each piece to distinguish true Meissen porcelain from duplicates.
In this tea saucer, a barefoot Augustus is seen at his dressing table with two Moors in attendance.