27 June 2016

Dawdling in Dresden: The Zwinger Porcelain Collection

The Zwinger contains multiple collections: we visited all of them, but we were more interested in the Mathematical and Physical Collection (which I blogged about earlier). However, since the ticket we had allowed entry to the other collections, we also checked them out. This entry is about the Porcelain Collection, which would probably make any grandmother's memories you have active.

This collection is massive, and while I am not a fan of porcelain per se, there were plenty of remarkable items on display. I definitely liked the collection of Asian porcelain, which was acquired by Augustus the Strong. Every collection is meticulously cataloged, and displays artifacts from various places in China and Japan.

The above pictures show you this part of the collection. But perhaps what I find more interesting is the collection of table centerpieces. These are elaborate non-functional items, only designed to be used as a decoration for huge tables that are otherwise boring because of its size. I guess if you're royalty, then you have the space for these huge tables, and you would need things to fill the space.

The pictures I have above show you a selection of these. These pieces are truly amazing: on the one hand, it shows artistry of the porcelain artists, and on the other hand, it shows you the extravagance of royalty back then, which is sometimes hard to relate when you're a common man like me.


  1. My mum has a few nice plates on the wall. Feng was puzzled the first time he visited, an interesting cultural moment.

    1. Zhu,

      I personally never really saw why porcelain plates could be art. For me, they were always functional, you have plates because you need something to eat on, not to hang on the wall. Nevertheless, I understand some people do do that. In fact, my grandmother even had two sets: one set that she used all the time, and another which she just kept in a fancy cabinet on display!