In 1879, German trader Philipp Rosenthal recognized the demand for painted china, motivating him to set up a porcelain-painting workshop in the town of Selb. Unexpectedly, it was the company's cigar ashtray which brought huge commercial success several years later. After the success of the painted ashtrays, Rosenthal opened a factory producing contemporary design porcelain with cutting-edge techniques. In honour of the founder's wife, a dinnerware service was named 'Maria' - a classically-designed line which remains one of the company's bestsellers. In 1950, Philipp Rosenthal Jr. returned control of the company to his family, which had been lost during the Second World War. Under his creative guidance, Rosenthal collaborated with renowned artists - including Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí - to create the innovative 'studio line'. Today, Rosenthal designs and manufactures furniture, home accessories and glassware, alongside its traditional porcelain services.
For four decades, the studios in Schwarzburg produced high-quality figurative porcelain that mirrored the different artistic currents of the first half of the 20th century. Here is their story.