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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe

Rastatt Favorite Palace

Höroldt service, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Martine Beck-Coppola
An unusual collection

Early Meissen porcelain

Nearly 160 Meissen porcelain pieces have survived at Favorite Palace, including some very early and rare pieces. European porcelain wasn't invented until 1708; the Meissen porcelain factory was subsequently founded in 1710. Sibylla Augusta would have been one of its first customers.

Böttger stoneware from Meissen, circa 1710/1715. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Martine Beck-Coppola

Böttger stoneware from Meissen, originating between 1710 and 1715.

Böttger stoneware

The collection includes a great deal of Böttger stoneware, the precursor to white porcelain. They have a light red and brown coloring. When Prince-Elector August the Strong of Saxony founded the Meissen factory in 1710, white porcelain was not yet production-ready. Therefore, the stoneware named after its inventor, Böttger, remained the finest ceramic form available until 1713. August the Strong liked to give them as gifts to his high-ranking friends, which could have included Sibylla Augusta, as they knew each other.

Böttger stoneware from Meissen, circa 1710/1715, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Martine Beck-Coppola

Böttger stoneware on a lacquer dresser.

“Jasper porcelain” and “black porcelain”

Böttger stoneware was decorated with glazes and embellishments. Very rare specimens, called jasper porcelain, have been preserved at Favorite Palace. Faceting and marbling were used to imitate stone. On the other hand, the charming “black porcelain”, stoneware made of black-gold lacquer painting, is an expression of the Asian vogue during that period. In addition to coffee and tea services and small bottles, black sake bottles have also survived. Their colorful lacquer painting is of the highest quality.

Jasper porcelain vase, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Sake bottle made of “black porcelain”, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
Coffee pot made of “black porcelain”, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

Purchased in Meissen: jasper porcelain and charming “black porcelain”

Höroldt service, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Martine Beck-Coppola

Show service, Meissen, circa 1721/23.

Early color patterns

After the first white porcelain was invented, manufacturers began experimenting with paint colors. A very early example: the cup bearing the Baden/Sachsen-Lauenburg alliance coat of arms, created circa 1713. The 1720s decor by Johann Gregorius Höroldt is especially impressive. They must have been one of Sibylla Augusta's favorites, as she ordered several sets, as gifts for her sons as well. The charming motifs of Chinese figurines suited the palace's Chinoiserie theme well.

Asian porcelain in the green bedroom, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Lutz Hecker

Asian porcelain figures.

A product range with figurines

Porcelain figures were part of the Meissen factory’s product line and thus also part of Sibylla Augusta's collection. The designs were based on original Chinese figures, such as Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy, or the philosopher Laozi, sometimes depicted riding a water buffalo.