The Swan service was made for Count Brühl (1700-1763), the Prime Minister of Saxony and director of the Meissen factory from 1733-63. Brühl commissioned the service in 1737 on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Anna Franziska von Kolowrat-Krakowska. The moulded decoration (a play on the word Brühl, meaning 'watery') was carried out by J.J. Kändler with the assistance of J.F. Eberlein, and Kändler began work on the larger pieces for the service in the summer of 1737. It would appear to be the largest service produced in the 18th century and Rainer Rückert (Meissen Porzellan 1710-1810, Munich, 1966, p. 118) estimates its original size to have been between 2,200 and 2,400 pieces.