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A „porcelain palace“ to rival any in Europe

Rastatt Favorite Palace

A Loukong tea set from Sibylla Augusta’s porcelain collection, Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown
Sibylla Augusta’s unique collections

Porcelain and glass

Favorite Palace is well-known to experts across the globe for its extensive collection of Meissen porcelain from their earliest production years, between 1710 and 1730. The collections are displayed on the third floor and can be viewed on tours.

A Chinese kumme (bowl) from the Ming Dynasty, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Adi Bachinger

Chinese kumme (bowl) from the Ming Dynasty.

Blue and white porcelain from China

White porcelain had been common in China for centuries and was also exported to Europe. The roughly 370 Chinese porcelain items at Favorite Palace were largely manufactured between 1680 and 1720, when Emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty was in power. Older porcelain, manufactured before 1644, in other words during the Ming dynasty, were heirlooms. Tiny bottles and vases were once displayed on the consoles of decorative mantelpieces. Almost all share the same characteristics: blue and white.

Handcrafted art from Asia

In addition to the blue and white pieces, there are also other valuable ceramics from Asia: enchanting vases with colorful decor from China and Japan or brown Chinese stoneware jugs from Yixing. The apartment of heir to the throne, Ludwig Georg, demonstrates the love for all handcrafted arts and motifs from east Asia with wallpaper, furniture and ceiling paintings, some original Asian, some Asian-inspired.

Porcelain and Böttger stoneware figures based on Asian models, manufactured in Meissen, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Martine Beck-Coppola

Porcelain and Böttger stoneware figures based on Asian models, manufactured in Meissen.

An early client of the Meissen factory

Europeans had long dreamed of being able to manufacture porcelain themselves. Not until the early 18th century did they succeed. The porcelain factory in Meissen began production in 1710, the same year in which construction began on Favorite Palace. Sibylla Augusta was one of its first customers. No surprise, since she was in contact with its founder, Prince-Elector August the Strong of Saxony. The early Meissen porcelain displayed at Favorite Palace shows the kinds of shapes, techniques and colors that were developed over time.

Bohemian glass from Sibylla Augusta’s collection, Rastatt Favorite Palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Martine Beck-Coppola

Bohemian glass from Margravine Sibylla Augusta's collection.

Bohemian glass

Most of the delicately polished goblets, chalices and flasks from Sibylla Augusta’s collection are from her native Bohemia, a great center of glass production. Especially valuable: glassware made of ruby glass and gold leaf glass, with etched decor and medallions.

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