False fruits on genuine Meissen. History of the Onion Pattern

Special exhibition from 1 February 2018 to 31 December 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.

Prized loan items from private collections are being shown for the first time. The exhibition also constitutes a unique mix of in-house pieces and objects from public museums. It sets the earliest known Meissen Onion Pattern porcelains from 1730-1739, early Onion Pattern faiences and Chinese Onion Pattern ware side by side and, in so doing, provides fresh insights into the pattern’s origins. 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.


Meissen Porzellan-Stiftung GmbH
Talstrasse 9
01662 Meissen
Phone: +49 (0) 3521 4760 328
E-Mail: museum [at] porzellan-stiftung [dot] de