History of the Rosenthal factory
Philipp Rosenthal (1855-1937) began business in Germany in 1884. Initially he purchased white ware from the company Hutschenreuther which was resold door to door after being hand-painted by his wife Maria. In 1891, he established a factory in Asch, Bohemia and began production of his own white ware.
Into the twentieth century and a more affluent Germany emerged with improved living conditions and a disposable income appeared. Rosenthal spotted the unfilled market and started mass scale production of porcelain aimed at the newly emerging market. In only two generations the family firm expanded into a world class player. With a vision for modern art, freelance artists were employed and the interior decoration business began. In 1910 the art department at Selb was founded employing designers such as Himmelstoss, Karner, Oppel, Holzer-Defanti, Liebermann, Cassmann and many others. The same year the factory won the gold medal for it’s quality porcelain at the world fair Paris. Over the decades other factories were acquired in ceramics, glass, utensils and furniture. It’s top quality porcelain is still admired today for the way they captured their subjects movement, form and liveliness.
Karl Himmelstoß ( 1878 – 1967 )
He studied at the School of Applied Arts in Berlin. Around 1911 he worked for the Royal porcelain factory Berlin, KPM. And from 1912 he worked as a freelancer for the art department at the Rosenthal porcelain factory in Selb. From 1913 until the early 1930s, Himmelstoß also provided designs for figurative models for the Schwarzburger Werkstätten porcelain factory in Unterweißbach, again freelance. In 1926 alone he designed more than 30 small sculptures and vessels for the art department of the porcelain factory Lorenz Hutschenreuther AG, Selb.