Red stoneware tankard
Red stoneware (Böttger stoneware), lapidary polished, with silver-gilt mounts
Museum no. C.22-2006
From the Arthur and Hilde Weiner Collection. Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the V&A
Before Meissen became the first European factory to make 'true' porcelain, it developed a red stoneware of which this tankard is an example.
An alchemist, Johann Friedrich Böttger, discovered the two formulas. He had been imprisoned by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, and ordered to find out the secret of making porcelain. The red stoneware was only made for a few years before commercial production of porcelain took over.