Rosenthal: Superb German Porcelain

Mary Elizabeth Collins

The renowned German firm has worked with 150 artists, designers, and architects from around the world in its 130-year history. Learn more about this prestigious firm here.

Rosenthal—the prestigious German firm—has created fine porcelain for more than 140 years. Their products are characterized by stylish and elegant pieces that harmoniously blend tradition and modernity. The label was founded in 1879 by the young Philipp Rosenthal in Erkersreuth, a district of Selb in Upper Franconia.Rosenthal                           Broad range of products by Rosenthal.Only a year later–in 1880–Philipp and his brother Max acquired Erkersreuth Castle and established a factory for painting decorative porcelain. It marked the beginning of the Rosenthal firm, which would rapidly reach worldwide fame. Just three years later–in 1883–the company employed more than 80 workers, and in 1884 Philipp Rosenthal ordered the construction of his own porcelain factory.

A man of extraordinary business acumen and artistic talent, Rosenthal was greatly saddened because the private industry in his country was dedicated to the mass production of china. He decided to create pieces inspired by the shapes and designs of French porcelain —which was very popular at the time—developing models such as Louis XIV, Monbijou, Pompadour, and Sanssouci, and embracing the golden age of Baroque and Rococo.

Although the small rural town of Erkersreuth already had a good industrial infrastructure, the company soon realized that it was not big enough to accommodate the growing number of orders they received. The firm decided to move to the nearby town of Selb, where Rosenthal’s main factory remains to this day.

At that time, Rosenthal only produced figurative porcelain—an absolute and exclusive privilege of royal manufacturers. The company also explored new trends and designs created by young German artists, establishing their art department and introducing collections that were well received with excellent commercial success.

Rosenthal’s success was virtually secured at the dawn of the 20th century. In 1910, the firm created a separate division dedicated exclusively to decorative porcelain, and in 1917 it opened their first store in central Berlin, which would later be joined by other select shops worldwide.

Rosenthal                          Rosenthal lamp.

Quality, tradition, innovation and design are the emblems of Rosenthal—a world leader in the manufacture of porcelain pieces that can be used as table service or décor. The firm competes with other iconic European companies like Royal Delft, Royal Limoges or La Cartuja de Sevilla.

More than 150 great artists, designers and architects have worked in tandem with Rosenthal, including Raymond Loewy, Walter Gropius, Tapio Wirkkala, Jorn Winblad, Mario Bellini, Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, Patricia Urquiola and Gianni Versace.

The firm has become an international emporium under the name Rosenthal GmbH Group, which comprises different brands and lines offering a broad range of pieces to make our homes even more beautiful.

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