The Chinese had mastered the production of porcelain long before the west became aware of it, and by the seventeenth century oriental porcelain had become a valuable export commodity in the China trade.
Mostly provided by the Dutch East India Company, porcelain from China and Japan represented wealth, importance, and refined taste in Europe, while local attempts to produce porcelain, such as the brief experiment that produced "Medici porcelain" had met with failure.
At the beginning of the eighteenth century Johann Friedrich Böttger pretended he had solved the dream of the alchemists, to produce gold from worthless materials.
When King Augustus II of Poland heard of it, he kept him in protective custody and requested him to produce gold.
After his death that October, Johann Friedrich Böttger continued von Tschirnhaus's work and brought porcelain to the market.
The production of porcelain at Meissen, near Dresden, started in 1710 and attracted artists and artisans to establish one of the most famous porcelain manufacturers, still in business today as Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen Gmb H.
Böttger refined the formula and with some Dutch co-workers, experienced in firing and painting tiles, the stage was set for the manufacturing of porcelain.
Meissen porcelain or Meissen china is the first European hard-paste porcelain.
It was developed starting in 1708 by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus.