Wallendorfer porcelain is produced in one of the oldest manufactories in Germany, located in the Thuringian town of Lichte. Unlike many well-known ceramic manufacturers of the 18th and 19th centuries, Wallendorf porcelain is still produced today. The management of the factory preserves the traditions and keeps the old recipes of mass a secret. The assortment of the manufactory includes excellent sets and decorative items from hard, biscuit and bone china. The brand of the company is a green or blue letter “W”, the shape of which has changed in different periods. Since 2006, it has been accompanied by a crown and a founding year.
The history of Wallendorf porcelain
Wallendorf porcelain began to be produced thanks to the wealthy entrepreneur Johann Wolfgang Hamann, who founded a company in Thuringia. He joined forces with the Greiner family, who owned the secrets of porcelain, and later invited the master Johann Georg Diimmler. To begin production, Hamann applied for a license to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg in 1761, but the first attempt was unsuccessful. A competitor, Heinrich Macheleid, had received a similar document three days earlier.
Wallendorf porcelain nevertheless saw the light of day a few years later. The entrepreneur continued to work despite the refusal, and soon began to build a factory. In 1764 he received the necessary license. Already in the XX century, on the eve of the anniversary of the manufacture, a dispute arose – which year should be considered the time of foundation. A special commission decided that the illegal period should not be taken into account, and now the year 1764 is indicated on the factory’s brand name.
For the first 15 years, porcelain turned out to be heterogeneous and grayish due to the peculiarities of local raw materials. Since 1780, the factory switched to Czech kaolin. One of the experts wrote that after this Wallendorf products became bright white, clean and so hard that sparks appeared when rubbed against steel. The quality was so high that for some time the factory passed off its dishes for the products of the famous Meissen manufactory.
The Hamann family owned the factory until 1833, producing porcelain products that were highly regarded throughout Europe. Then the factory changed many owners. A significant mark in its history was left by the company Kampf & Heubach AG, which focused on the production of decorative figurines. They were in great demand, but the First World War led to the closure of the plant.
The next owner was the Fraureuth porcelain factory, which went bankrupt in 1926.
Its artistic director, Heinz Schaubach, was able to buy out the molds and equipment. Together with other former employees, he opened the Schaubach Kunst company. His dishes, vases, decorative plates and figurines are famous all over the world. During the Second World War, production stopped, and in 1953 it was expropriated by the government of the GDR and greatly reduced the range.
In the 1970s, the management decided to resume the production of products that brought glory to the manufacture in the past. During the war years, many documents and forms were lost, so the services and figurines were restored according to samples from museum and private collections.
Nowadays, Wallendorf porcelain, as in the old days, is painted by hand. In 2006, the production of bone china began. Antique products of the manufactory are exhibited in the Hermitage, the British Museum, the New York Metropolitan Museum and other major collections in the world.
What is Wallendorf porcelain famous for?
From the moment of its foundation, the manufactory began to produce exquisite dishes for tea, coffee and chocolate. Twenty years later, decorative figures were added to the assortment. These areas are still leading in production. Here are some famous examples of Wallendorf porcelain:
- “East Frisian rose”. This series features a floral pattern that is characteristic of East Frisia. The region is famous for its tea drinking traditions.
- “Blue Dresmer”. The service is made according to the old technology and painted by hand. Also available in red.
- Bianca Hamann. This design was invented in 1820 by an artist who was the niece of the factory owner. Then the service was called “Grape Leaves”, and now it bears the name of the author.
- Alt Wallendorf. This elegant series has been in production since 1989 – for the first time it was presented for the 225th anniversary of the manufacture.
- White and hand-painted figurines. The sculpture of this factory is distinguished by grace and elegance. Figures of ballerinas and animals are especially popular.