False Fruits on Genuine Meissen, History of the Onion Pattern.

Special Exhibition 1 Feb-31 Dec 2018


The Onion Pattern is almost as old as European porcelain itself and keeps on coming back into fashion. What makes this design so special? Why has it never ceased captivating us since its inception? Is it the vibrantly crisp blue gleaming out towards us against its white surface?

The exhibition looks into the matter by addressing the history of, and stories surrounding, the Onion Pattern. As well as being a big seller for long periods, the pattern has also been much discussed by art historians through the ages. It is exciting tracking down the few clues as to when it first appeared and what it may have been based upon.

On display are premium loan items from both private and public collections that are being presented to the public for the first time. These are interspersed with rare porcelains of our own to make this exhibition truly unique. Early variants of Meissen Onion Pattern from between 1730-1735 join Chinese porcelains and faiences with onion-pattern decoration from the same period. Together with later 18th-century Onion Pattern porcelains from Meissen, they offer exciting new insights into the pattern’s genesis.

Its success in the 19th century spawned further blue-and-white designs. Imitations and forgeries from the 18th century onwards likewise belong to the history of the Onion Pattern, however. The pattern has remained part of the Manufactory range right up to the present day. Given that it is contantly being re-interpreted, its history is far from having been completely told.

Round your visit off by touring the Demonstration Workshops at the Porcelain Manufactory and you will have had a truly unforgettable experience with us.