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  • Post published:March 28, 2019

Augarten porcelain:
A soft layer of past


© By Sheila 

The Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur Augarten, Vienna, is a special place: Over 300 years of tradition gather here, surrounded by the oldest baroque garden in Vienna. About an art- and culture exchange, that has survived for centuries in our living rooms.

When I was younger, I didn’t understand the meaning behind my mother’s sentence- “Today we use the goodporcelain.” Nowadays, I miss hearing her speaking these words. When I have occasion to look closer at a porcelain cup between my fingers, I read a past within. Moments of childhood occure, when I delve into the surface of a small, smooth cup. Right into these soft layers of past. This post is about a manufactories, where porcelain is produced till today: The Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur Augarten.

A table with beautifully decorated Augarten porcelain plates and items. They show soft colors: Pink, gold and blue. On it, there is a fine ornamental pattern with birds painted. The golden boarders of the plates shimmer.
Beautifully decorated Augarten porcelain.

300 years of tradition at Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur Augarten

Porcelain is one of the invisible strings woven into our society, rooting back to ancient times. It’s a symbol and cause of traditions and manners. A link between trade and time, as it was passed onwards through continents, generations and tables. Porcelain is also a connection of art and daily life, as not only artlovers and collectors keep porcelain, but as well many families with their unique stories. From generation to generation. Visiting the Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur Augarten, as it is officially called, made all that again clear to me. 

In front of the former hunting castle, nowadays location of Augarten porcelain manufactory. Its light creme color, the saturated green of the baroque garden and a way lined with lavender create a colorful picture.

The manufactory was founded 1718 by Clau­di­us In­no­cen­ti­us du Paquier. At a time, when the entire European aristocracy was chronically ill with the “porcelain addiction”. 2018, the Augarten manufactory celebrated its 300-year-anniversary. Says the maths. By the way: Around the former hunting castle, in which the manufactory is located, you find the oldest baroque garden of Vienna.

This photo shows me, taking a picture of the porcelain figures of two fighting horses at Augarten manufactory. The horses are about 30 cm high and of white color.
Surrounded by handmade beauty, it's good to have a camera with you.

To this day, the pieces of Augarten porcelain are produced by hand. The bigger and higher a piece, the more caution is required. Because: The risk of breakage increases with size. Among other steps, two fires at almost 1000 degrees Celsius, quality controls, the grinding of porcelain with gemstone waste and glazing are necessary for the production. On the upper floor of the manufactory Augarten, the pieces get afterwards decorated by hand. If you want to take a look on the decoration process live, you can visit a guide. In total, the assortment includes almost 30,000 items – ok, including napkins and other little things. Still not bad, right?

Careful porcelain production at the manufactory.
Careful porcelain production at the manufactory.

Some final words. We live accompanied by silent witnesses, whose value often only is revealed to us, when they become a key to moments, thoughts and people. Isn’t it bittersweet, when we think back to the time we touched and looked at certain items with an innocence, that we like to remember. I am glad to have visited the manufactory. Because that’s what I feel when I take out the porcelain of the previous generation of my family’s women: With caution and the same grasp as they did.

This photo shows me, the author of this blog, in front of the Augarten manufactory.
One last look in front the manufactory... Memories & summer breeze.

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