What Are Dresden Porcelain Figures?

According to online antique dealer Kovels, Dresden Porcelain figurines are made from a special type of porcelain that originated and is still produced in Dresden, Germany. The most famous of the Dresden figurines are known as the "crinoline groups." These delicate figurines portray life at court, including people dancing and playing instruments. Pieces from another line of well-known Dresden figurines feature lace skirts dipped in porcelain.

The Dresden Porcelain website explains how a group of men headed by Johann Friedrich Böttger discovered the secret to creating porcelain, also known as "white gold," in the early eighteenth century. The website states that the discovery subsequently "brought wealth and glory for Saxony." Dresden porcelain has been in high demand in Europe, and later around the world, since its inception. The best-known porcelain factory in Dresden is the Meissen factory, which is responsible for the "crinoline" figurines.

The identifying markings of Meissen porcelain depend on the year it was produced. According to Antique Marks, the reigning Meissen symbol post-1722 was two blue crisscrossed swords. Further identification requires inspection of the differences in the hilts of the swords, and another indicator is the occasional inclusion of a half-moon beneath the two swords. Other Dresden pieces (not from the Meissen factory) bore a similar brand – a blue crown with "Dresden" inscribed underneath.