Dresden figurines draw their inspiration from the ones made a couple of dozen kilometers down the Elbe River in Meissen. In fact, the link between Dresden and Meissen is so close, particularly in the minds of United States and United Kingdom collectors, that for years the more familiar word, Dresden, was used to describe figurines and other porcelain pieces that had actually been produced in Meissen.

The confusion dates to the early 18th century, when, in 1708, a faience (glazed earthenware) factory was founded in Dresden by a local alchemist named Johann Friedrich Böttger. Just two years later, Böttger figured out a formula for hard-paste porcelain, which he produced beginning in 1710 in Meissen. By the middle of the 18th century, figures styled after Italian commedia dell'arte characters were common, and by the end of the 18th century, faience was out and Dresden-decorated, Meissen-made porcelain was in.

During this period, in 1882, the first use of the Crown Dresden stamp was pioneered by a decorator named Helena Wolfsohn. The following year, a quartet of decorators (Donath & Co., Adolph Hamann, Richard Klemm, and Oswald Lorenz) registered a crown stamp as the official mark for their Dresden wares. Although there were no actual porcelain factories in the city itself, Dresden supported some 200 porcelain-decorating shops through World War II, when the industry was essentially bombed into oblivion.

One of the most famous techniques of Dresden artists was something called Dresden lace. To create the illusion of real fabric on figurines of women dancing at royal balls or posing in groups, decorators would dip actual, delicate lace into porcelain slip before applying it by hand to the porcelain figure. When fired in a kiln, the fabric would burn away, leaving a hard but extremely fragile shell of frozen crinoline skirts and billowy material behind.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

V&A Porcelain Figures

V&A Porcelain Figures

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s online collection of Meissen porcelain figures includes more than 150 pieces, in… [read review or visit site]

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

This gallery showcases highlights from the 5,000 items in the museum's ceramics collection dating from 1500-1900. I… [read review or visit site]

Ceramics at The V&A

Ceramics at The V&A

A great reference on ceramics from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Learn about different ceramics techniques and st… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Large Antique Volkstedt Lace Dresden Figurine Group Figural German PorcelainAntique Pair Of Meissen Dresden Porcelain - Boy & Girl Flower Seller Figurines 19c Dresden Meissen Porcelain Figure Lady Floral Encrusted & Lace F 69 C1880Early 20c German Dresden Sitzendorf Figure Group Dancing Lady & Gent C1920Magnificent Pair Antique 19c Dresden Meissen Porcelain 5 Arm Figural CandelabraPr German Dresden Porcelain Bronze Figural Candelabra Table Lamps Flowers Antique German Dresden Eckert Beautiful Lady Bisque Porcelain Bust Figurine Stunning Vintage Flowerlady Figurine Dresden Volkstedt Rudolstadt GermanyLot (6) Irish Volkstedt Dresden Porcelain Lace Figurines German 5.5"-8" TallAntique Marked Kpm German Porcelain Meissen Dresden Thalia Muse Of ComedyAntique 20th Century Dresden Porcelain Figurine Group Playing Chess GermanyVintage Porcelain Chess Players Figurines Dresden GermanyStunning Vintage Galant Couple Figurine Dresden SitzendorfGerman Porcelain Figurine Dresden Furstenberg Girl In Layers Of Lace Skirt​stunning Antique German Dresden Porcelain Lace Victorian Lady Figurine Figure Stunning Vintage Playing Children Figurine Dresden Volkstedt Rudolstadt GermanyAntique 19th Edme Samson Porcelain Plaque Charger Racoco Dresden Flowers LimogesRare Antique Dresden Meissen Quality Porcelain Risqué Ladies Figurine Set29 Vintage Powder Paint Vials China/porcelain Rynne Imported German DresdenBeautiful W Germany Sandizell Dresden Lace Blue Dress Victorian Women FigurineRare Antique German Porcelain Volkstedt Dresden Lace Lady Fairy Figure FigurineGorgeous Lot Victorian Hand Painted Porcelain Floral Plaque Dresden Brooch PinsStunning Vintage Beglar Couple Figurine Dresden Volkstedt Rudolstadt GermanyRare Capodimonte Dresden Full Lace Lady & Mirror Figurine - Giuseppe CappeMost Beautiful Irish Dresden Winter Girl Figurine Sitting On A SledIreland Dresden Figurine. Two Dogs In A Bed. Ceramic & PorcelainGorgeous Vintage Dresden German FigurineDresden Porcelain Lace Three Girls Figurine Exc Cond!Pr German Carl Thieme Dresden Porcelain 3-arm Candelabra Applied Fruit FlowersSevres Falconet Boucher Porcelain Figure Group Edme Sampson DresdenOld Capodimonte, Dresden Figure, Art Deco Lady With HarlequinOld Drvintage Dresden Figurine By Sandizell #369 - Lovers W/harp & ViolinStunning Antique Biscuit Bisque Figurine Dresden Volkstedt Rudolstadt GermanyFine Antique German Dresden Hand Painted Porcelain Pug Dog FigureDresden Porcelain Nude Lady Figurine Exc Cond!!Antique Dresden Lace And Flower Gray Hair Victorian Woman FigurineIrish Dresden Lace Figurine - 1978 - Porcelain 20 Vintage Powder Paint Vials China/porcelain Rynne Imported German DresdenAntique Lady Porcelain Figurine In Lace Dress - Volkstedt/dresden Style-rococoVintage Irish Dresden Porcelain Easter Egg Flowers Lace Beautiful! Ireland. Nr!Antique Sitzendorf Dresden German Porcelain Figurine Of A Noble Woman Vintage Franz Wittwer Germany Dresden Porcelain Lace Figurine Lady With MandolinAntique Dresden Porcelain Trio, Hand Painted.....................ref.7407Dresden Boy FigureAntique Porcelain Dresden Figurine Of Young Boy With A Cock.Vtg Irish Dresden Lace White Dove W/gold Trim OrnamentAntique Porcelain. Collection Of 11 Dresden Porcelain Dancers And Musicians. Ceramic & Porcelain, Crowned "d" Of Klette, Figurines & Statues Dresden FigurinePorcelain Dresden? Lace Figurine - Victorian Courting Couple Wedding Cake TopperDresden Porcelain Lace Victorian Women Figurine With Parasol Vtg2 Dresden Lady Figurines As Is They Are Damaged Irish And German Vintage Irish Dresden Porcelain Figurine Lady Lace Dress ,fan,, White& . BlueAntique Dresden Style German Porcelain Blanc De Chine Of A CoupleCabi Dresden Blue Lace Cami Tank Size Xs NwtDresden Girl FigureDresden Lace Girl Figurine West GermanyMatched Pair Dresden/sitzendorf Courting Couple Figures, Metal BasesPorcelain Lamp Pair Sandizell Germany Dresden Style Collectible