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From the Collection–Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, Augustus III, King of Poland

Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (Dresden, Germany, established 1710). Augustus III, King of Poland, 18th century. Glazed porcelain, with polychrome overglaze decoration, and gilding, 30 × 16 1/2 × 13 1/4 in. (76.2 × 41.91 × 33.66 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation, M1962.364. Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (Dresden, Germany, established 1710). Augustus III, King of Poland, 18th century. Glazed porcelain, with polychrome overglaze decoration, and gilding, 30 × 16 1/2 × 13 1/4 in. (76.2 × 41.91 × 33.66 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation, M1962.364. Photo credit: John R. Glembin

Believe it or not, this imposing sculpture is made out of a material that we usually associate with teacups and figurines for our end tables.  That’s right–this two-and-a-half feet tall man is made out of porcelain!

But it’s not just any porcelain.  It’s porcelain made at the factory in Meissen, Germany.  You may remember Meissen as one of the most important names in European porcelain production from my series on German drinking vessels.

Just to recap, Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, was obsessed with porcelain and purchased huge amounts of Chinese and Japanese examples for his palaces in Dresden. But he, like so many rulers in Europe, wanted to be able to make what was dubbed as “white gold” for himself.