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Porcelain Royal Dux Bohemia®
A Glimpse of the History

For more than one thousand years China managed to keep the secret of porcelain for itself. It was only in the year 1709 that Johann Friedrich Böttger succeeded after many years of investigation and attempts to make this art accessible in all Europe. This important invention soon started to spread. In 1710 the manufactury in Meißen was founded, as soon as 1718 Vienna learned the secret of porcelain production. From Vienna this knowledge started to spread all over Europe – in 1720 it came to Venice, in 1750 to Höchst, in 1751 to Strasbourg, in 1753 to Berlin.

In the nineties of the 18th century porcelain production won West Bohemia thanks to efforts of specialists from Thurringia and in 1794 the first Bohemian porcelain was produced in Klášterec. In the region around the town Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) where rich deposits of kaolin could be found the pocelain production strated to develop rapidly. The production of ceramics started to develop still another region in the neighborhood of the town of Teplice. Here. too, favourable conditions for production existed – coal deposits as a source of energy and large deposists of fine sintering clays. After the construction of Ústí – Most railway line the transport of raw materials and products was largely facilitated. The production of ceramics developed rapidly in the region of Teplice. In the sixties of the 19th century there existed only three factories, whereas ten years later there were eight, in the eighties twelve, at the end of the century twenty and in the year 1905 there were nearly thirty such factories in this region.

Among the first ones the factory in Duchcov (Dux) was founded in the year 1853. After the first timid attempts with producing utility ceramics goods from of raw materials mined in the closest surroundings, the factory was bought by the experienced model-drawer Eduard Eichler and turned into the firm E.Eichler Thonwaren-Fabrik. In 1862 he also bought the small factory in Šelty near Česká Lípa. The manufactury experienced a period of prosperity and the goods produced here were mainly from terracota, faience and majolica in the genre of Copenhagen, Worcester and Sevrés . In 1878 the Eichler firm was awarded Silver Medal at the exhibition in Paris.

At the turn of the 19th and 20th century a number of important changes occured. The factory reinforced its capital through the transformation of Eduard Eichler’s private property into a stock-holding company which in 1898 became to be known as Duxer Porzellan – Manufaktur, A-G. With the seat in Berlin. This newly established company bought the porcelain factory in Blankenhain near Weimar and the factory in Šelty was liquidated.

The manufactury started to produce, apart from the traditional products, also porcelain. Since 1900 it has been using its traditional trade mark – made from rose - colored material in the form of a triangle with the inscription ROYAL DUX BOHEMIA and an acorn. This trade mark id still used up to this day.

In the Vienna Secession period the manufaktury achieved most remarkable successes thanks to its model-designer Alois Hampel. Some of the articles introduced at that time have been produced up to these days. The factory was awarded the Grand Prix prize at the world exhibition in St. Louis in 1904, silver medal at the exhibition in Milano in 1906 and the gold medal at the exhibition in Liberec. It employed 500 workers and consisted of five round and seventeen muffle kilns, it had its own steam and power plant. The factory had its own sample store-houses and representatives in Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, London, Amsterdam, Bologne, Paris, Stockholm and Madrid. The products were mainly exported and the manufactury had trade connections with all Europe, including Russia and even with North America. This successful period was interrupted by war. Because of the specific character of produced goods the pre-war standard of production could not be maintained. Due to enormous financial difficulties the factory in Blankenhain had to be sold in 1918.

In the period between the two world wars the manufactury didn’t succeed in achieving a level production that could be compared with that of the beginning of the century. The trade links had been destroyed during the war and they could not be re-established any more. The necessary financial means for art design were missing. When the world economic crisis broke out the factory was obliged to stop developing new lines and it was even difficult to maintain the achieved standard. In spite of all these difficulties the manufactury managed to preserve the character of its production. It continued to produce figurative and decorative porcelain based upon already existing successful and shapes.

After the Second World War most of the workers of German nationality were evacuated. They were replaced by settlers from the interior of the country, the factory established its own apprentice-training center and the State School of Ceramics in Teplice was re-opened.

The cooperation with the High Industrial Art School in Prague also largely contributed to its further development and helped to retain the enormous scope of production.

Since the late fifties manufactury of Duchcov has started to regain its lost position on the world markets. The collection of Prof. Jaroslav Ježek, show at the world exhibition EXPO ’58 in Brussels largely contributed to its success. The production collection is further extended both by realistic figurative motives and by products , characteristic for their smooth stylized forms in modern spirit, both in figurative and decorative porcelain.

The variety and wide scope of the contemporary production program will please even the most demanding customer. The manufactury strives to satisfy the maximum number of its customers by retaining a high artistic, aesthetic and technological standard of its production. The newly appearing catalogue of figurative and decorative porcelain, known in his country, as well as abroad, under the trade mark ROYAL DUX BOHEMIA as a proof of these realities.

In 1992, the name of the manufactory of Duchcov was changed to Porcelain Manufactory Royal Dux Bohemia a.s., and became an independent joint stock company again till the year 1997, when it became a member of the Czech Porcelain Group in the frame of capital putting-through.

Contact information

Český porcelán, a. s. Závod Royal Dux

Sadová 1414, 419 01 Duchcov
tel.: +420 417 835 261
fax: +420 417 835 416
e-mail: odbyt.royaldux@cesky.porcelan.cz

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