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Czech porcelain

Czech porcelain

Porcelain (also obsolete) is a ceramic mass produced by burning a ceramic dough consisting of a mixture of kaolin, briar and melt. It is used for the production of dishes, sanitary ceramics, electrical insulators, tiles, decorative objects, dental ceramics and many other items (doll heads, etc.).

Porcelain was discovered and produced in China - the so-called protoporcean from the 7th century BC, porcelain as we know it from the 7th century AD. In Europe, these precious goods were highly valued in the 17th and 18th centuries, as evidenced by that the term "China" has become a general reference in Europe for this exotic product. After trying to imitate Chinese porcelain, European ceramics have failed many times, finally, in 1708, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, who was assisted by Johann Friedrich Böttger, solved this search. The recipe was a combination of ingredients including cold clay (kaolin type), calcium alabaster and siliceous sand.

With the correct ratio of all ingredients and their good burning, there was a sufficiently hard, white and translucent material - porcelain. In Europe, this process was very complicated (unlike in China, where it is possible to directly harvest porcelain from natural bearings, a corresponding combination of all ingredients has to be found in Europe both with regard to the individual ingredients and their proportions); the influence of oriental manufactories on the discovery of porcelain in Europe can be considered minimal and rather inspirational.



The building of the Meissen porcelain

The secrets of porcelain burning first appeared in China. Already since 700 BC, the so-called protoporcean is burned in China. They are still not wholly white, nor transparent products. Genuine porcelain has been produced in China since the 7th century AD. The name of kaolin came from the name Gaoling Hill, where they mined porcelain clay. Porcelain merchandise with celadon glaze was intended only for the emperor and his court. Porcelain was brought to Europe around 1290, when he brought him from his trips to Asia, Marco Polo. The name "porcelain" originated from the Italian word "porcella" - a shell, because it reminds her of it, and when it clears a bit, it will remain a waist-like surface. Since then, Europe has been trying to make the porcelain itself. After some time, around the 15th century, Chinese porcelain began to be imported in larger quantities, but it was still a very expensive item that matched gold. European porcelains have not yet been able to burn at temperatures as high as china. One of the first European counterfeits was the so-called Medicius porcelain in the 15th century in Italy. It was a porous mass of a mixture of white-burning clays that did not reach such strength, and no more transparency. It was decorated with a cobalt that imitated Chinese patterns. These have also been applied to the well-known Delphic fajans from Holland, which have also imitated the shapes of Chinese vessels. Discovering the composition of porcelain in Europe has succeeded in Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and Saxon Pharmacist Johann Friedrich Böttger (Jan Bedrich Böttger) in 1708 in Meissen in more than a decade. His first attempts resembled a rather hard stoneware.

Vienna Porcelain Building

The shell was very solid, sintered, but it was brown-red. The mass was lying in metallic wrought forms. Then he noticed the white powder that was used to impregnate the baroque wig, so he discovered the kaolin deposits. It was made at the Meissen Castle, the workflow was carefully guarded, and the secret of production was divided among several people. In 1718 some managed to escape from the castle and in 1719 a porcelain factory in Vienna was established.


Porcelain in Bohemia

The first Czech porcelain was founded in 1792 in Slavkov, the second two years later in Klášterec nad Ohří, then in Březová and Kysiblu in 1803. Other porcelains can be found in Lokta, Chodov, Prague, Dalovice, Žacléř and other towns.

At the end of the 18th century several attempts were made in the Northwest Bohemia to produce porcelain, as it was known that deposits of high quality kaolin were found here. In the neighboring Thuringia, a number of small porcelains were created in the second half of the 18th century. These businesses inspired entrepreneurs who wanted to use raw materials in Karlovy Vary. The oldest enterprise in our country was the establishment of a small manufactory in the village of Haje near Horní Slavkov in 1789. However, its efforts were poorly successful, both because of the lack of funds and a small number of workers. The level of the first porcelain products was apparently low. The company collapsed and production here after four years was extinct.




Horní Slavkov

Our first successful porcelain factory, which managed to keep production until today (the activity of Slavkov porcelain was stopped in 2011), became a company in Horní Slavkov. The establishment of the factory was initiated in 1792 by the muniter Jan Jiří Paulus in cooperation with Jan Reumann and Jan Pöschl. The founders tried to gain a privilege in the production of porcelain in 1793, but their request was unsuccessful. It is clear from the attitudes of the Vienna authorities that they did not want to create a porcelain in the Northwest Bohemia region, especially in order not to endanger the position of the preferred imperial Viennese porcelain. However, it was also clear that the first products of the new establishments were of poor quality.

The first owners of the Slavkov factory were not very successful, so the company was sold in 1800 by Luis Greiner. The improvement of the factory situation occurred only when the son of L. Greiner, the physician Jan Jiří Lippert of Austerlitz, entered the company in 1803. He bought the factory in 1808, merged with the mining master Vaclav Haas, and the company started to work under Lippert and Haas. It was only at this stage that the owners managed to achieve a more successful production, both technologically and artificially. The mass of the products was better and well burned. The shape of the objects has evolved from the rounded Baroque shapes of the first products, mimicking the production of the Thuringian porcelain, and the cylindrical Empire forms inspired by Viennese, Meissen and French porcelains. The character of the decoration has also improved greatly in terms of artwork. Besides the views of the countryside and important places in north-west Bohemia, there were also motifs from Prague and other interesting towns.

Privilegium for the production of porcelain was acquired by Slavkov until 1812, as the transformation of the earlier negative attitude of Viennese and gubernial authorities to business was already manifested at that time. In pursuit of economic growth, the state began to support the development of production and industrial enterprises. In the years 1812-1817, the factory had to face the turmoil and the crisis and the economic impact of the Napoleonic wars. A happier period for industrial business as well as for the Slavkov factory did not take place until 1817. The literature says that masters from abroad were called to train young factory workers.

In 1819, the Slavic factory began to mark its products with a three-digit year, and the next two decades became the time of its full development. This is evidenced by its participation in exhibitions of industrial products in Prague in 1828, 1829 and especially in 1831, when the factory won the silver medal. During this period, the Slavic designers and painters concentrated on the shapes and decorations of the very popular coffee cups, which became the desired gifts and souvenirs and the decoration of showcases in burgher and noble interiors.

Slavkovský porcelán was appreciated not only for the quality of porcelain mass and glaze, but also for the impressive painting of many painters. The source of inspiration with Stalantic mythology and allegorical and symbolic motifs that painters drew from contemporary book and free graphics.

Before the middle of the 19th century, the factory grew considerably and employed over 200 workers and successfully participated in exhibitions of industrial products in Berlin in 1844 and the following year in Vienna. However, after half a century, signs of the crisis of the art form of Slavkov china began to appear. Under the pressure of predatory competition, porcelain, which mainly pursued commercial goals and focused mainly on mass, artistic and medium-sized production, the Augusta Haas prestige led by Augusta Haas was trying to keep its profitability and avoiding a decline in product quality.

In 1867, August Haas handed over to his son, George Haas and his nephew, Jan Cžjžk, who sought to modernize production. Under the company Haas and Czjzek there was a factory until 1945, when it was nationalized and in 1958 it became a part of Karlovy Vary. In 1992, the company was privatized and re-used the name from before 1945.

The factory tried to strengthen its position in the existing markets and sought to gain further markets in Asia and America. She presented herself at exhibitions in our country and abroad and cared for the promotion of the products. After purchasing a Russian investor to export luxury porcelain to Russia, the factory unfortunately got into trouble, which she no longer recovered. A large share of this apparently had too much unilateral orientation on the Russian market where an almost liquid import duty on European porcelain was introduced as opposed to Asian porcelain. The factory was finally 31.1. 2011 closed. The oldest porcelain in Bohemia and one of the oldest in Europe is unfortunately the past.



Klášterec nad Ohří

The Manufactory for Porcelain Production was founded in 1793 by Alsasan J. N. Weber, a retired Thun Forest and Land Administrator, with the help of a Thuringian specialist. In the monastery manor around Cernice, kaolin-like soil was discovered. It encouraged Weber to test the earth with the support of the Earl, who was still favorably inclined to him. The Count gave a garden grotto for this purpose, where a provisional muffle furnace was built, and a dish made of home-made dishes was made. The experiment was fruitless. Then Weber engaged arcanist J. N. Fetzer to build a new furnace at the benefiant's house at a former Loreto Chapel, but even here was not the only successful attempt and Fetzer was released. In his place was accepted J. G. Sonntag, who had recently given up production of porcelain in Háje. By doing so, a new furnace and building for the incinerator was built. The first firing in this furnace took place on September 15, 1794, and the testimony claims that the porcelain was yellowish and dirty. Probably from this burning comes the first test piece of a cup with the inscription "Vivat Böhmen". This oldest monastery product, bowl and bowl of 1794 is, according to Meyer, significant, especially because it is the only example in which the experimental specimen is preserved. Nowadays, this subject is missing.

In 1797 he rented a porcelain porcelain chandelier for six years from Erfurt, who was a handsome businessman, organizer, porter and shopkeeper in Volkstedt and Ilmenau. This eventually led to the convent of the Chancellor, and the results appeared to have come shortly, because at the beginning of 1799 the Viennese porcelain showed obvious concerns about possible competition.

For many years, the monastic products have been characterized by impure, gray matter and caramel glaze. Still in 1796 it happened that it destroyed the entire firing and went straight into the stump. According to preserved products, pure white porcelain can not be mentioned before sometime after 1805.

Weber returned to Alsace by the end of 1800, where he died in 1801. From his heirs, the owner of the estate, J. M. Thun, took over porcelain in 1803, and moved Nonne to Kysibl. Count Thun took over the factory definitively until its own operation until 1820. Thun's property remained porcelain until the nationalization in 1945. In terms of formality, the Thuringian tradition remained in the Klášter still until about 1810, but at the same time began to penetrate the influences of Vienna with cylindrical empire shapes. In the second decade, shaping takes over from Meissen. About 1815 spa baths with the relevant maps from Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Teplice are also displayed according to the graphic designs.

Count Thun gains a privilege on 15 March 1822 to make porcelain. At the same time, porcelain was given the right to use the state emblem in the company's name. A quarter of a year later, the same right was given to porcelain in Březová, as did Kysibl, founded in 1803. The position of the Monastery was not easy, as the strong competition of Austerlitz, which in the 1920s entered its classical era, the increasing competition of Březová, finally, Loket's competition, founded in 1815, and the highly preferred Vienna, made undeniable obstacles in sales.

Prior to 1837, copper was introduced here. The greatest flowering of the porcelain is achieved by the director of J. Hillardt and especially by K. Vernier in the years 1850-1872. Johann Hillardt was appointed as the director in 1836. He built a third furnace, changed wood from wood to brown coal and peat and introduced rigid labor discipline. The results of Hillard's efforts were very early. The style of the second rococo was adopted by the Klášterec quite late. Under Hillard's leadership, the number of painters increased considerably, and the decoration began to be limited to floral motifs. Karl Venier took control of the factory in 1848. He was professionally equipped for his function. He rebuilt the mills, which he thought could have been a poor quality of shards, and expanded sales and improved accounting. He sent the leading painter to study in Vienna because he also understood some backwardness in his artistic expression. Since 1859 it has been burned with gas.

Production after 1860 seems to have started to stagnate more and more, as if it felt fatigue after an extraordinary creative period in previous decades. This was not the case in other Czech porcelains. Since 1857, there have been simple, conical shapes of varying size and a very thin body, the so-called "sévreská form". In the first half of the 1960s, experiments with so-called rice translucent décor, taken from Persia and with double-walled porcelain with a carved top coat, also featured.

The porcelain participated in exhibitions such as 1857 in Paris, 1865 in Linz, 1873 in Vienna. Here the Klášterec was represented by a large decorative cup and a jug. For the production of porcelain, the seventies were a period of considerable change. The need to meet the growing demand for more common and thus less aesthetically pleasing utility porcelain, strong competition and new technical portability of the porcelain required the fastest transition to mass production. Kome


Březová (Pirkenhammer)

The porcelain, known by its old name Pirkenhammer (sometimes called Pirkenhammer), was founded in 1803 by Thuringian merchant Friedrich Höck in Březová (now Karlovy Vary-Březová). After initial difficulties, it was leased in 1806 by Thuringian entrepreneurs Ferdinand Cranz and Friedrich Brothäuser. In 1811 it was sold to Johanna Martin Fischer of Erfurt and local Christian Reichebach. They gain the provincial privilege to produce porcelain in 1822. Late Baroque forms of pots, decorated with typical linear cobalt decorations of straw and bird and rock motifs, replace Empire cylindrical shapes of pots with floral decorations, mainly crimson. Towards the end of the Höcke period the Viennese shapes are decorated with colorful figures, drawing mainly from mythology.

One year after the takeover of the porcelain by Fischer and Reichenbach, the porcelain begins to thrive. Already in 1829, as the first porcelain in Bohemia, it acquired a decoration permission for its own copper. In the twenties and thirties of the nineteenth century there was a great flourishing of porcelain. In the gilding of pottery, the porcelain birch in the first half century was the first among porcelain at all. Inspired painters, such as K. F. Quast, S. Schermer, or S. Wabersich. After Fischer's death in 1824, his son Johann Christian Gottlieb began his business here, who became the only owner of porcelain in 1846. However, the company was formally continued to operate under Fischer & Mieg until 1918.

Although Ludwig Mieg sought to maintain the factory both technically and artistically (the French painter A. Carrier and the apprentice painting school were called in 1868), commercial interests supported by an effort to confront ever-increasing competition at the end of the century were inevitably won and artistic quality has almost disappeared. Only the quality of the shale has remained excellent.

In 1919, the Birch factory with other porcelains joined the EPIAG joint stock company. After 1945, the factory was nationalized and incorporated in 1958 into the Karlovy Vary porcelain n. P. As a special plant dealing mainly with the production of exclusive porcelain decorated with hand painting.