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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe

Rastatt Favorite Palace

Delft glazed earthenware, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Martine Beck-Coppola
Fragile pieces

Shards in the

porcelain palace

An entire palace filled with porcelain! How much was broken? Some of the valuable ceramics were never used and only served representational purposes. But the following applied to them as well: Handle with care!

Meissen figures based on Asian models, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Lutz Hecker

Meissen figures from the collection at Favorite Palace.

Shattered figurines

It is unclear how much of the Favorite Palace's “white gold” was broken over time. However, one loss stands out: 41 porcelain human and animal figurines “were broken by Princess Louise,” as per an inventory note from 1814. Louise was the three-year-old daughter of Grand Duke Karl, who ruled between 1811 and 1818, and Stéphanie de Beauharnais, Napoleon's adopted daughter.

Princess Louise's family

Karl was the grandson and successor to Grand Duke Karl Friedrich von Baden-Durlach, who had inherited the Margraviate of Baden-Baden in 1771 as per the inheritance contract. Karl and Stéphanie enjoyed spending time at Favorite Palace in Baden-Baden. They had many of their own challenges to overcome, as did the young Louise (1811–1854). The heap of shards did not bring a life of happiness: She later married the Swedish Prince, Gustav von Wasa, but their marriage did not last.

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Karl and Stéphanie von Baden.