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Detail showing Queen Victoria drinking tea at a Buckingham Palace Garden party

Serving and sipping a favourite beverage

Meissen Porcelain Factory

Tea and coffee service 1720-30

RCIN 5000106

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In the early eighteenth century European porcelain manufacturers had to rely heavily on Chinese shapes and decorative motifs for their tea services since there was no real precedent on the continent. The Meissen Porcelain Factory, which created this service, decorated its components with colourful Chinoiserie scenes. The tea bowls in particular are drawn directly from Chinese examples. George II (1683–1760) owned a quantity of Meissen porcelain for use in Hanover which may have included similar pieces. This service, however, was probably acquired by Queen Alexandra (1844–1925).