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.
Astrid Späht-Begas ( 1905 – 1997 )
Astrid was a visual artist and sculptor in Germany. She studied art at the Berliner Handwerker- und Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin as well as with Fritz Klimsch at Berlin Art School. After studying, she stayed for a few years in Stockholm during the 1930s and, among other things, exhibited separately at Gummesons Konsthall in Stockholm. Among her works from Stockholm, portraits of Martin Öhman , Princess Sibylla and Opera Singer Einar Larsson are noted . In addition to portraits , she did smaller figure sculptures.
She designed two models for Rosenthal during the 1930s, a ballerina figurine of the famous Russian ballerina and actress, Irina Baronova, and the tall elegant nude Longing.