Könitz Porzellan

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The Könitz Porzellan factory was founded in 1909 in Könitz, Germany.[1] The original founders were brothers Richard and Max Metzel and their partner Rödel.[2] Some of the first products produced included porcelain cups, mugs, and bowls, most of which were exported to England. In 1912, due to increasing demand, the company expanded and took on the new name Könitz Porcelain Factory Gebrüder Metzel. At the end of World War II, Könitz was considered one of the leading medium-sized porcelain manufacturers in Germany.[1]

History[edit]

In 1948 the company was taken oven by a trustee; in 1950, during the Soviet occupation of East Germany, the company was merged into the Soviet A. G. Ceramic Factory Hermsdorf and produced only industrial porcelain and insulators, for which the factory was famous (see brand names HESCHO[3] and TRI-DELTA).[4] In 1951 the company was nationalized, becoming public property.[5]

With the centralization of the East German economy in 1962, Könitz became state property. It was integrated into a private company, VEB Konitz-Kahla.[6] However, when the Iron Curtain fell in 1989[7] Könitz had a chance to re-establish itself. Under new direction and under the original Könitz brand name, the production of household porcelain goods resumed. The company rejoined the international market, shipping goods to the Netherlands, Israel, Italy, Norway, Austria, and the United States.

On December 21, 1993, Turpin Rosenthal, a sixth generation member of the porcelain industry, son of Philip Rosenthal and grandson of the founder of Rosenthal AG,[8] purchased Könitz from the state trust. It was not until 1995 that he gained full ownership of the company, during which time the company suffered heavy losses and was near bankruptcy. In 1996 the company reorganized and restructured. Rosenthal narrowed the focus of the Könitz brand to one product—cups and mugs—and sought to establish the company as the leading expert in coffee and tea cups.

In 2001, Könitz founded the Thai subsidiary Konitz Asia Ltd.[9] In 2006 and 2007, respectively, the Könitz Group acquired two other German companies, Waechtersbach Ceramics (est. 1832)[10] and Weimar Porzellan (est. 1790).[11] Waechtersbach USA is the primary distributor of Könitz products in the United States & Canada. The subsidiary was founded in 1976 and purchased by Konitz Porzellan in 2009.

Könitz celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009. To this day, Könitz is Europe's largest supplier of mugs and related products.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Konitz Porcelain: Company". Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  2. ^ Marshall, Christopher S. "Könitzer Porzellanfabrik Metzel & Rödel (1909 until 1912)". Porcelain Marks and More. Retrieved 2015-03-15. The factory was founded by the brothers Richard and Max Metzel together with their partner Rödel and soon included four kilns... 
  3. ^ "Chronik: Porzellanfabrik - HESCHO - KWH - Tridelta". Hermsdorf-regional.de. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  4. ^ "PM&M [Germany / Thuringia / Könitz (01)]". Porcelainmarksandmore.com. 1993-12-21. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  5. ^ "Konitz Porcelain | company". Mug-company.com. 1993-12-21. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  6. ^ "The secrets of Konitz's success. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  7. ^ "Iron Curtain | European history | Encyclopedia Britannica". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  8. ^ Cuff, Daniel F. (1990-02-05). "BUSINESS PEOPLE - China Maker Promotes Grandson of Founder". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  9. ^ http://www.frankenpost.de/regional/wirtschaft/Mit-Porzellan-auf-Erfolgskurs%3Bart2448[dead link]
  10. ^ "Waechtersbach Germany". Waechtersbach.com. 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  11. ^ "Weimarer Porzellanmanufaktur - The art of porcelain making for the 21st century". Weimar-porzellan.de. 1948-07-18. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hermann Windorf, Die Thüringische Porzellanindustrie in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, Leipzig 1912
  • Robert E. Röntgen, Deutsche Porzellanmarken, Battenberg Verlag 2004