The Meissen Souvenir
Ever heard of Meissen porcelain? It is one of the most famous porcelain manufacturer in Europe – since 1710.
Augusta visited Meissen on her journey in 1847. Meissen is not far from the city of Dresden and Augusta stopped there on her return trip from Prague. She didn’t write much about her visit:
“We only stayed in Dresden for one day and visited the large porcelain factory where we bought a few small things.”
A contemporary Swedish writer, Sophie von Knorring, visited the porcelain factory the year before and wrote a little bit more in her letter home:
“In the afternoon, we first went to the Catholic Church, the first one I have ever visited, and then to the porcelain factory. From all the many magnificent objects, I would not be able to bring home many, but the little I chose were so much more beautiful and expensive. You will see, when I return home ….”
Kerstin and I visited the Meissen porcelain factory on our journey last fall. We got to see the various steps in making porcelain dishes and figurines. And then we ended up in the gift shop. What should we buy?
Augusta bought a few small things to take home to Loddby, and Sophie von Knorring bought a few, beautiful and expensive things. But what were the things they bought?
We walked around and looked at some of the things we had seen being made during the factory tour. The prices were astronomical. There was really nothing in the gift shop that we could afford and also want….except for the usual souvenir – the refrigerator magnet.
We each bought one.
What would Augusta have thought of that?
A little painting that would stick onto a cold-cabinet in the kitchen – a cabinet where you could store milk and cheese and other things so you wouldn’t need to go to the cellar. If someone got hungry in the middle of the night, they could just go and grab something. Or you could pour yourself a glass of cold, white wine. What luxury! And why not decorate this cold cabinet with a little piece of art that would remind you of what you had seen on your exotic journey.
Augusta would never have believed it!