The Meissen porcelain factory was founded in 1710. It was the first porcelain manufacturer in Europe. Originally in Dresden it was moved to the Castle of Albrechtsburg in Meissen, in 1710 where it was felt that the secret of porcelain making could be better protected. Their first production was mostly the red Böttger stoneware of which some was marked with incised Chinese characters. In 1713 true porcelain began to take the place of the red Böttger ware.
In 1719, after the death of Böttger, the porcelain decorator Höroldt took charge of the factory and created a rich palette of enamel colors to be used in decoration. Höroldts work is known as "chinoiseries" and included typical scenes from the orient.
On the 7th of April 1723 the Leipziger Post Zeitungen announced that Meissen wares would carry a mark to guard against forgeries. Forgeries had started to appear and was mostly minor, damaged pieces that had been rejected by Meissen had been salvaged and decorated by home painters (haus malers). This first mark took the form of the letters KPM (Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur) above two crossed swords.
The markings was initially drawn or painted, but were soon fired in underglaze blue. Early markings are AR (Augustus Rex, the monogram of the King), K.P.M. (Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur), M.P.M. (Meissener Porzellan-Manufaktur), and K.P.F. ("Königliche Porzellan-Fabrik) were eventually replaced by the crossed swords logo, introduced in 1720. After 1731 it was used consistently by official decree.
Studying variations in the "crossed swords" mark allow approximate dating of the wares.