Any owner of precious Meissen Porcelain® will take care to protect it against damage. Accidents will nevertheless happen. What’s to be done if your cherished heirloom or collector’s item takes a knock or, heaven forbid, gets completely broken? The restoration workshop at the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory can be of help in such cases. It specialises in the professional restoration of figurines in Meissen Porcelain® and fine red stoneware (Böttgersteinzeug®). It is only worthwhile restoring utility ware and decorative porcelains, on the other hand, if there is no scope for making replacements or where museum pieces whose preservation is vital are involved. The input required to restore utility porcelain is often just as great as when producing a new piece. Irreplaceable items can, however, be restored to their former glory thanks to the experience and care of our staff.
Guaranteed true to the original
Parts of figural porcelains that are missing, have been broken off or cannot be re-used due to their being too damaged - examples being limbs, heads, petals or other moulded design elements - are completely remade in our restoration workshop. Such replacement parts are wholly “authentic Meissen”. They are individually cast in porcelain paste from plaster moulds in the manufactory’s judiciously managed stocks, luted to small items of kiln furniture and then subjected to initial firing at 950 °C. Once the glaze has been applied, they undergo a second firing at 1,420 °C.
Artistic mastery - now as then
The parts replaced are painted in a manner true to the original. The great skill and empathy of Meissen porcelain painters guarantee that new and old are indistinguishable in both phrasing and mastery of execution. Following a third firing at approx. 900 °C, the finished “replacement parts” are adapted to the damaged figure with meticulous precision. This involves their being sanded down until they can be fitted on exactly. This time-consuming work demands an instinctive grasp on the part of the restorer.
Restoration work virtually invisible
The “old” and “new” parts are bonded snugly together using special-purpose adhesives. Some of these have been developed in the Manufactory specifically with this in mind and contain a high proportion of very finely ground Meissen Porcelain body. It is particularly important here to ensure that any alterations made to the original parts are kept to an absolute minimum and that the bond can be undone if required. The final act in the restoration process is that of tidying up the join. This is performed in several layers and stages and sees replacement parts merge with their hosts in such a seamless way that the original damage is usually impossible to detect and it’s as though no restoration work has been done at all.
Problems are there to be resolved
Calculating the exact amount by which the material will contract during firing in advance is not easy. If the replacement part doesn’t fit, another one has to be made. Another problem concerns getting the whiteness of the porcelain body just right. Older pieces are often tinged with grey or yellow owing to deficiencies in the firing system of old. Porcelain made today, by contrast, is pure white in colour. It is not always possible to achieve a complete colour match as a result. But any problem can be resolved somehow.
Trust the experts
Our restorers undergo superlative training at the long-established Meissen Porcelain® production facility. We provide them with a solid grounding in art history, specialised technological know-how, a great capacity for artistic design, many years of practical experience and the instinctive grasp required to be dependably accurate.
You can trust us to remedy such matters. Ideally, you should first send us a photo clearly indicating the damage done to your Meissen Porcelain®. We will then provide you with tailor-made advice on the scope for restoring the piece; we can only submit a price quote once we receive the actual porcelain, however.
Please contact us at restaurierung [at] meissen [dot] com or else get in touch with Customer Dialogue under the following telephone number: +49 (0)3521 4686650. We will be glad to assist.
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