Porcelain from Selb adorns tables all over the world and makes collectors’ hearts beat faster. It was, in particular, a triumvirate which brought Selb the title of European capital of porcelain: Hutschenreuther, Rosenthal and Heinrich produced almost half of the German porcelain ware during the boom period of the porcelain industry.
Lorenz Hutschenreuther, son of the founder of the C. M. Hutschenreuther porcelain factory in Hohenberg, set up his own factory at old Ludwigs mill in Selb in 1856. His porcelain production gained in quality and quantity, especially after the installation of an art department directed by Professor Fritz Klee. In 1969, the two Hutschenreuther installations merged to form the Hutschenreuther AG.
In 1879, Philipp Rosenthal set up a porcelain painting workshop in the margravial castle Erkersreuth, three kilometres from Selb. There was also a branch in Bohemian Asch/Aš between 1886 and 1898. This was followed in 1890 by a transfer to Selb and the product range’s extension by taking over various porcelain companies and the creation of special departments.
After privy councillor Philipp Rosenthal had been removed from the company during the Nazi period, his son Philip joined Rosenthal AG in 1950. Under his direction the company gained an international reputation, especially by cooperation with leading artists and designers such as Walter Gropius, Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Marcello Morandini.
Heinrich Porcelain traces back to porcelain painter Franz Heinrich, who, in 1896, installed in his parents’ home a muffle kiln instead of a baking oven. He first ordered white ware from the local companies, until in 1901 he produced his own porcelain.
Christoph Krautheim, who, in 1884, founded a porcelain painting workshop, acted similarly. As Krautheim & Adelberg he started in 1912 with his own production and became Royal Bavarian Purveyor to the Court.
Directly situated at the new railway line Hof-Aš in Selb-Plößberg, Jacob Zeidler with his sons set up Porcelain Factory Zeidler & Co. Restrictions during World War I forced the heirs to sell, whereupon the Rosenthal group acquired the porcelain factory in 1917, which later-on was known under its brand Bahnhof Selb and today is home of the Porzellanikon – Staatliches Museum für Porzellan.
Hutschenreuther as a brand was acquired in 2000 by the then Rosenthal AG and now is, as well as Rosenthal GmbH, part of the Italian Sambonet Paderno Industries S. p. A.
PORCELAIN IN TOWN
Over generations, porcelain industry has characterized the urban economic and cultural life of the city of Selb. So, no wonder, the traces of the white gold can be found everywhere. Just follow the Red Thread winding along the pavement and besides porcelain fountains you will discover the onion-pattern bench and the porcelain lane, and also a city map of porcelain and the city’s history made of porcelain tiles.
Exceptinal dealings with porcelain also attest the Vasarely-relief in the municipal indoor swimming pool and the world largest coffee pot opposite the BSZ for product design and testing technology that could hold up to 60,000 cups of coffee. For groups the tourist info offers 90-minute guided tours through the porcelain world of Selb. The Porcelain path leads you further into the surroundings by foot or bike along the Hundertwasser house, rainbow fassade (by Otto Piene) and the Morandini mirror house up to the former living quarters of Philip Rosenthal, Erkersreuth palace and onto Hohenberg a.d. Eger.
PORZELLANIKON – REAL INDUSTRIAL CHARME!
Fascinating insights into the porcelain industry’s history and the porcelain workers’ life is provided at Porzellanikon – State Museum for Porcelain, which in separate departments also offers technical ceramics and Rosenthal’s design history. In this former Rosenthal factory you will experience demonstrations about various production steps, like casting of the famous White Maria sugar bowl. The big steam-engine rattles every hour and museum education has interesting offers for children.
Selb provides you with plenty of opportunity to take the white gold home. The big brands as well as smaller manufactories are represented with their factory sales at Factory In Outlet Centre, at Rosenthal Outlet Centre and in downtown shops.
ANNUAL PORCELAIN HIGHLIGHTS
Special pieces are offered at Germany’s biggest porcelain flea market, which every year on the first weekend in August entices thousands of visitors to participate in the Porcelain Makers’ Festival. Also during the Weeks of the White Gold, when exhibitors at Rosenthal Theatre present porcelain trends and table creations Selb demonstrates, once again, his face as the city of porcelain.
- Porcelain for wedding-eve party & Wedding-list service at Rosenthal Outlet Centre
Forest experience path Kuselwusel (2.5 km), Start: Selb Forest behind old ice rink
Forwarding Service at Rosenthal Outlet Centre
Germany’s biggest Christmas tree decorated with porcelain | Christmas Market on weekends in Advent | Ice-Skating at NETZSCH Arena