Meissen was the first European hard-paste porcelain. Development started in 1708 by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and upon his death the same year was continued by Johann Friedrech and brought to market.
The "onion" pattern was originally named "bulb" pattern. While modeled closely after a pattern first produced by Chinese porcelain painters, which featured pomegranates unfamiliar in Saxony, the plates and bowls produced in the Meissen factory in 1740 adopted a feel that was distinctly their own. The Meissen painters created hybrids that resembled flora more familiar to Europeans. The so-called "onions" are not onions at all, but, according to historians, are most likely mutations of the peaches and pomegranates modeled on the original Chinese pattern. The whole design is an ingeniously conceived grouping of several floral motifs with stylized peonies and asters in the pattern's center, the stems of which wind in flowing curves around a bamboo stalk.
This gorgeous covered butter dish is decorated with the blue onion pattern in cobalt blue, circa mid-1900's. The under-plate measures 8" across, the butter tub 4 3/4" across and base with cover 3 3/4" in height. Marked on the base in blue with "cross-swords" mark, decorator initials and impressed "X70". There are no cracks, chips or repairs; near mint.
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