The manufactory was founded by order of the Duke Karl Eugen von Württemberg for the production of art pieces of the highest quality from hard porcelain. Ludwigsburg porcelain was created to decorate the palace and luxurious gifts for noble people, so it quickly became famous. Over time, the factory, like many others like it, began to suffer losses and closed. The classic hallmark of this brand is two intersecting blue “C” letters topped with a crown.
The history of porcelain Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg porcelain could have appeared earlier: Karl Eugene’s predecessors also made attempts to found a new manufacture. The task was complicated by the unfortunate location of the city from the point of view of porcelain production: there is no suitable clay or wood for stoves nearby. But the demand for the perfect “white gold” for the court was great, and on April 5, 1758, the Duke opened production with the intention of subsidizing it.
Ludwigsburg porcelain began to be produced in 1759, when the experienced specialist Joseph Jakob Ringler took over as director. He previously worked at the Nymphenburg manufactory. Other top-level masters were also invited. Soon, production reached its heyday the first twenty years are considered the best in the history of the factory. Artists painted each piece by hand, creating creations of the highest quality. The Seven Years’ War also contributed to the success, which created difficulties for the Meissen manufactory.
The main artist of the Ludwigsburg factory was Gottlieb Friedrich Riedel, who previously worked in Meissen.
Until the late 1770s, he created magnificent Rococo vases and sets. For example, the luxurious service created as a gift to the Italian Count Giovanelli is famous. Johann Wilhelm Beyer, who created complex sculptures of musicians and artists, worked at the same time as Riedel. Some of his works already at that time demonstrate the influence of classicism.
In 1775, Karl Eugene, together with the court, moved from Ludwigsburg to Stuttgart, and the factory began to decline. The situation was aggravated by the fact that rocaille floral patterns were out of fashion, and Riedel did not want to change anything. In 1805, when the Holy Roman Empire collapsed, the Ludwigsburg Manufactory began to be called the Royal Manufactory, but it still remained unprofitable. Twenty years later, the king of Württemberg Wilhelm I (Wilhelm I. Friedrich Ludwig) tried to sell it, but did not find a buyer and closed the factory. A collection of molds, recipes and engravings has been preserved in the archive.
Porcelain Ludwigsburg in the XX and XXI centuries
A new attempt to revive Ludwigsburg porcelain was made by Otto Wanner-Brandt in 1948. He acquired the rights to the trademark and began to use the original forms of the 18th century in production, which brought him immediate success. Twenty years later, the company moved to the Ludwigsburg Palace, and in 1994 it began to receive city subsidies.
All products, as in the past, were painted by hand. The assortment was periodically replenished with new art items. An example is the Ginkgo Biloba service with Goethe’s lines of poetry (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). But despite financial support, the manufactory experienced increasingly serious problems and closed at the end of 2015.
What is Ludwigsburg Porcelain famous for?
The factory’s products are slightly inferior in whiteness to those of Frankenthal and other German porcelain manufactories. But the artistic quality of these objects allows them to be compared with the best examples of European ceramics. The following types of Ludwigsburg porcelain are especially famous:
Figures of musicians and dancers, including costumes for the court ballet that were new at the time of creation.
Miniature sculptural groups about 7 cm high on the theme of the Venice Fair and scenes from the life of the common people.
Figures of a satirical nature, making fun of the court fashion. For example, the height of the hairstyles for ladies and the size of the bows for the gentlemen.
Tableware, caskets and vases with luxurious rococo floral designs.
Buying porcelain Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg porcelain of the 18th century is a great rarity. His best collection of 2,000 pieces is kept in the ceramics museum in Ludwigsburg Palace where these works of art were created. Products of the 20th century are easier to find, but they are gradually becoming more and more expensive, because the factory is closed and does not produce new products. To acquire a figurine from this manufactory is a great success for the collector.
Throughout its history, the Ludwigsburg factory has remained one of the smallest in Europe, and all its products were hand-painted. It is clear that there cannot be a lot of such porcelain. It is unlikely to meet him in a regular antique shop, but sometimes amazing figurines and pieces of services appear at themed auctions.