In 1815 the brothers Haidinger founded Vienna Porcelain Factory Elbogen, standing under the auspices of M. Niedermeyer, director of the Vienna Porcelain Factory. Its early white ware was sold undecorated to painting workshops in Vienna. In 1873, the Haidinger heirs sold the factory to Springer & Oppenheimer. After Oppenheimer had left the firm, it continued operation under the name Springer & Co and as one of the first companies joined ÖPIAG* founded in 1918. The EPIAG members were nationalized after 1945 and later-on merged in Karlovarský Porcelán (today Thun 1794 a. s.).
The Porcelain Factory Winter & Co, which made products for daily use and for hotels, was founded in 1880. In 1887, Winter & Co set up a factory for pottery ware, but soon reorganized its production to porcelain and earthenware and produced special exportation ware for Tunis. The factory existed until after 1945. A porcelain factory founded in 1890 by Winter, Lochschmied & Co operated under the name Austria Karl Speck & Co as from 1896. Brothers Persch from Hegewald continued production as from 1902 until economic reasons led to its close-down in 1937. Persch afterwards established Porag, a company which existed until 1945.
There were also Julius Dietl‘s Porcelain Factories Elbogen and Kaltenhof as well as a Porcelain Painting business run by Johann Hoffmann (1927 – 1945).
Loket is picturesquely situated on a rock and is surrounded on three sides by the river Eger. The river bend resembles an elbow (German Ellenbogen) which lead to the town’s German name Elbogen. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who stayed in Loket several times, got excited about this Bohemian Rothenburg. Its market square surrounded by historic dwelling houses, Holy Trinity column created by sculptor Karl Stülp, St. Wenzel Church with its artistic interior and the town hall in the Early Baroque style hosting a Bookbinding Museum contribute to the town’s reputation.
PORCELAIN IN TOWN
The town’s symbol is its Romanesque-Gothic castle from the 13th century. It once was called the Key to the Kingdom of Bohemia and now provides many attractions, including a torture chamber which is only for courageous people. A Porcelain Museum preserves the memory of the porcelain industry which once was vivid in this town. Figurines, doll heads, old pattern books and porcelain for daily use from regional productions are waiting for you at the Margraviate House’s first floor.
If after this visit you feel like purchasing your own porcelain, you may brows for it at G. Benedikt’s Factory Store, situated right on the market square. While walking through the town you will also discover some ceramic shops.