From the Onion Pattern to Bloomy Feathers – a design evolution
The iconic Onion Pattern gained its worldwide renown on Meissen porcelain. During the 18th century, the pattern was referred to as “Bleu Ordinaire” – ordinary blue. In “Bloomy Feathers”, its distinctive elements are combined with red hues and a delicate blue. The dainty chrysanthemum – a symbol of abstinence and modesty – is the focal point of the ensemble. Quoting from the original pattern, the delicate petals of the lotus have also made their way into this reinterpretation. With its contrasting colour combination, the reissue breathes lightness into the seasoned design, allowing the unique character of the Onion Pattern to shine anew.
The history of the “Onion Pattern” itself cannot be separated from the development of Meissen’s blue painting technique and its particular aesthetic effect on porcelain. Immediately after the invention of the first European porcelain and the founding of the manufactory in 1710, the search for a very special blue began: a blue that would both emphasise and harmonise with the brilliant white of the porcelain. It wasn’t until 1722 that newly created paint made it possible to apply the manufactory’s trademark – the Crossed Swords – in a striking cobalt blue under the glaze for the first time. This radiant shade soon led to the conception of the now fondly favoured “Onion Pattern” – inspired by then en vogue East Asian patterns, predominantly blue themselves.
“Elements of the iconic "onion pattern" are reinterpreted and combined with modern elements.”
Created from 1731, the décor was set to become famous across the globe. Yet, curiously, there was never actually a single onion in sight. The “onions”, as it were, are in fact peaches and melons, designed on the rim of plates and complemented by bamboo stalks and chrysanthemum blossoms that feature in the centre of the design. It was merely a misconception of the somewhat stylised renditions of the fruits that led to the general public naming this almost immediately iconic artwork the “Onion Pattern”.
With such success and unrivalled popularity, Meissen’s “Onion Pattern” quickly established itself as a milestone of sorts within the history of porcelain. However, various imitations emerged, similar in style to and certainly inspired by Meissen’s original, but nonetheless far from the original. In 1888, the decision was made to incorporate the Crossed Swords into the design – set at the foot of the bamboo stalks, the swords attest to the piece’s authenticity and serve as a guarantee of Meissen’s exceptional porcelain quality and craftsmanship.
The “Bloomy Feathers” design from “The MEISSEN Collage” collection introduces a reduced reinterpretation of the pattern, combining fabulously fresh colours with extracted elements of the iconic décor. A symbol of modesty, the chrysanthemum serves as a discreet eye-catcher. Now separated from its “onions”, it brings a little floral flair, working in elegant aggregation with graphically designed feathers, while happy hues of blue and red bring a certain joyfulness and vibrancy into play. The collection is conceived as an open invitation to discover one’s own creativity: be it by combining the various designs of “THE MEISSEN COLLAGE” collection amongst themselves or with pieces from other collections, such as the Onion Pattern, Swan Service and Waves – “THE MEISSEN COLLAGE” is as individual and as personal as your own home. The collection breaks away from the classic tableware idea and, with its carefully curated “Table Fashion” concept, transforms collectors into designers. “THE MEISSEN COLLAGE” showcases singular expressive pieces that inspire and stoke an appetite for more.