Meissen "Red Lion" plate (detail), ca. 1729–1731. Ernst Schneider Collection at Schloss Lustheim
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Irregular management was endemic at Meissen in the 18th century. In the early 1710s, the founding director and bookkeeper both made off with porcelain to sell for themselves more than two-thirds of the royal start-up funding may have been embezzled. In 1730, however, Count Carl Heinrich von Hoym set a new standard for underhanded dealing. Appointed director of the factory, he conspired with a French dealer, Rodolphe Lemaire, to steal thousands of pieces of Meissen and sell them as Chinese.
Dr. Julia Weber is a curator at the Bavarian National Museum, Munich, which holds one of the world’s preeminent collections of decorative arts. She previously conducted research at the Arithmeum University Museum in Bonn, the Museum for Art and Cultural History in Dortmund, and the Central Institute for Art History in Munich. Her dissertation analyzed the relationship between Meissen porcelain and East Asian models, and she recently published a two-volume catalogue of the important Meissen collection at Schloss Lustheim, near Munich. She is a leading expert on the origins of hard-paste porcelain in Europe.