The New International Encyclopædia/Böttger, Johann Friedrich

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BÖTTGER, BÖTTCHER, or BÖTTIGER, Johann Friedrich (1628-1719). The inventor of Saxon porcelain. He was born at Schleiz, in the Principality of Reuss-Schleiz. He was apprenticed to an apothecary in Berlin, but became an enthusiast in the search for the philosopher's stone, and carried on extensive researches under the patronage of Prince Egon von Fürstenberg in Dresden. As he did not succeed in making gold, he was induced to use the chemical knowledge he had acquired in experiments upon clays, with a view to the manufacture of porcelain, and factories for this purpose were erected under royal patronage, and the celebrated Meissen porcelain was the result. As a security against the revelation of the art of making it, Böttger and his assistants were treated as prisoners, and when Saxony was invaded by Charles XII. of Sweden in 1706, they were secretly removed from Dresden to Königstein. His success was not without its reward. He was appointed to supervise the porcelain manufacture in 1708, and shortly afterwards the Meissen porcelain was brought out. In 1716 he entered into negotiations to reveal the secrets of the process, but was discovered and imprisoned.