In 1710, Augustus the Strong—Elector of Saxony and King of Poland—established a porcelain factory after two of his workers discovered the formula for hard-paste porcelain, a coveted secret previously known only in Asia. Located in Meissen (in what is now Germany), the porcelain factory was placed under the supervision of the prime minister, Heinrich, Count von Bruhl, in 1733. Von Bruhl soon arranged for the production of a magnificent dinner service that would bear his coat of arms. Four years in the making, this famous set—known as the Swan Service—originally contained more than 2,200 pieces and remained in the possession of his family until after World War II.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Modelled by Johann Joachim Kändler, German, 1706–1775
Johann Friedrich Eberlein, German, 1696–1749
Manufactured by Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, Meissen, Germany, established 1710
Plate (from the Swan Service)
c. 1737–1741
Hard-paste porcelain
height × diameter: 2 1/2 × 14 13/16 inches (6.4 × 37.9 cm.)
Credit Line

The Rienzi Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

Heinrich, Count von Brühl, and his wife, Maria Anna Franziska von Kowlorat-Krakowska, 1741; by descent in the Brühl family until the late nineteenth century; (art market, Copenhagen); Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III; MFAH, 1994.