Porcelain baskets – painted and plain – have since the 18th century been essential to splendid table settings. Just a few years subsequent to Nymphenburg's establishment, they were already being listed in the business' books as "fretwork confectionery baskets, round and oval". The production of such baskets is very complex. The meshwork is cut piece for piece by hand using a special knife that is similar to a surgical scalpel. The fretwork edges must then be smoothed and "cleaned". But porcelain cannot be worked at will – if the tension is too great, the basket will fracture during firing. Frequently used as decorative table accessories, baskets are considered true masterpieces of the manufactory.