By Åse Anderson in London
Just like its delicate china, the jewellery from German porcelain firm Meissen Couture is captivatingly pretty.
Set up over 300 years ago by emperor Augustus the Strong, Meissen has evolved from a porcelain manufacturer into an international luxury lifestyle brand. Today, Meissen is a truly global company that encompasses fine jewellery as well as couture gowns, luxury accessories, interiors and artwork. Since 2012, the Meissen jewellery collections have been produced by Meissen Italia, based in the fashionable city of Milan.
With such a wealth of heritage to draw from, hand-painted porcelain is often the starting point for a Meissen jewellery collection, although the pieces also incorporate other materials such as crystals, diamonds, coloured gemstones and gold. The jewellery is divided into three different collections and a separate bridal range.
Meissen's My Little Mystery collection features hand-painted porcelain in pastel shades combined with rock crystal to form different shapes, from drops and ovals to squares and emerald cuts. These geometric figures are set in rose or white gold and paired with princess-cut diamonds.
The 1739 Royal Blossom Collection takes its name and inspiration from the snowball blossoms that King Augustus II gave to his wife Maria Josepha in 1739. The flowers have been transformed into porcelain and then combined with gold, precious stones and elastic knit to create a set of unique but very wearable jewels. The collection is aimed at a younger customer, "but one which has just as high standards in terms of quality and value," according to Ileana Turrini, Meissen Couture's PR and communications manager.
Finally there is the Meissen Haute Couture collection, which, as the name suggests, is the crème de la crème of Meissen jewellery. Described as a journey through the brand's rich history and archives, the starting point of the collection is a chandelier designed by 18th century artist Johann Joachim Kaendler, which inspired Meissen's jewellery designers Ornella Pasquetti and Marta Garozzo to create three pairs of royal earrings. Featuring a cascade of diamonds and sapphire in various colours, including pink, yellow, orange and blue, they bring to mind fresh flowers bursting into bloom in springtime. The use of different cuts, such as drop and oval, creates an illusion of a freshly picked bouquet.
With three centuries' worth of archives at their fingertips, I am in no doubt Meissen jewellery will continue to delight and surprise us with its exquisite creations.