Production of Meissen porcelain started in Dresden, Germany in 1709, under the direction of Johann Friedrich Bottger. The first pieces of Meissen porcelain were sold at the Leipzig Easter Fair in 1719.
In June 1719, a royal porcelain factory was built in Meissen, and all production moved from Dresden to Meissen. Bottger, known as the father of all European porcelain, perfected his formula for hand-painted white porcelain in 1713. All Meissen production then switched to the new porcelain formula.
The Meissen Manufactory still produces fine porcelain pieces to this day. The china displayed at Hillforest is Meissen, though the pattern name is unknown. The cross swords markings on the bottom of the china signifies Meissen. Most of the pieces at Hillforest were donated by members of the Gaff family. Some pieces were purchased to supplement the settings. It is believed the Gaffs originally had 72 place settings to accommodate many people and many courses.