History of Meissen Porcelain and Chinese Porcelain: Differences & Similarities

Meissen porcelain and Chinese porcelain come from two vastly different countries – Germany and China- but the Chinese mastered the art of porcelain production long before the West did. Since porcelain originated in China, and proto-porcelain dates back to 1600-1046 BC, it has essentially become the staple of Chinese art. However, the Meissen factory was developed in 1710 and became known for creating once-fired, or green-fired porcelain with a resistance to thermal shock. Monarchs considered Meissen porcelain as prestigious as white gold. The town of Meissen, Germany has been producing Meissen porcelain for over 300 years and is regarded as Europe’s first and oldest continuously running porcelain maker. Before the Meissen porcelain factory opened, all of Europe’s porcelain was imported from China. Below are the differences between Meissen porcelain and Chinese porcelain.

Meissen Porcelain

  • Created in 1700s
  • Once-fired, or green-fired
  • Known for delicate figurines
  • First hard-paste porcelain

Chinese Porcelain

  • Dates back to 1600-1046 BC
  • Soft-paste porcelain
  • Made of clays, feldspar or flint


  • Both fired at around 1400°C (2550°F)

Elegant Elbe – 2017


While traveling with Vantage, check out the Meissen porcelain factory in Germany on our Elegant Elbe journey. While there, you can see the origin of some of the world’s best porcelain.

Heart of Germany – 2017


Visit the birthplace of Meissen porcelain on our Heart of Germany journey, which stops in Koblenz, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremburg and Regensburg. Go for the holidays and hear a lecture on “Christmas Traditions in Germany,” join a Christmas tree decorating party on board, and visit as many as six Christmas Markets.

Imperial China, Mysterious Tibet & The Yangtze River – 2017


Visit the birthplace of Chinese porcelain while traveling with Vantage on the Imperial China, Mysterious Tibet & the Yangtze River journey.

Highlights of China & the Yangtze – 2017


Travel in a small group on our Highlights of China & the Yangtze journey, and experience firsthand where porcelain was first produced for an intimate look into the history of this fine china.