Teapot, Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon Porcelain Manufactory, Meissen, Germany, early 18th century, Böttger stoneware.
Courtesy of Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

For a long time, Europeans tried to find out the secret of porcelain production, but without results. At the Saxon court of Augustus the Strong, an alchemist named Johann Friedrich Böttger finally succeeded. In 1706, Böttger developed a reddish tinted precursor, the so-called “Böttgersteinzeug”, from which Meissen porcelain emerged. In order to keep the product secret, the developers were kept highly protected at Albrechtsburg Castle.