Germany / Baden-Württemberg / Ludwigsburg:
 : Ludwigsburger Porzellan-Fabrik (1758 until 1805)
As early as 1729 the manufacturer of mirrors and glass products Elias Vater had already offered the Duke Eberhard Ludwig to open a porcelain factory, but his offer was turned down and so it took until 1736 before the first factory was licensed and founded in Ludwigsburg. Under director Johann Philipp Weißbrodt, first experiments where made but failed to turn up with useable results and the business closed.
A few years later and under a new Duke, Ludwigsburg had a second chance. A new factory was founded on April 5th 1758 per decree of the Wuerttemberg Duke Carl Eugen. The first series of experiments was not successful, but with the arrival of Josef Jacob Ringler in 1759, the factory was soon in commercial production. Ringler, late of Strassburg and a number of other factories, was to run the Ludwigsburg factory for the next forty years. Because he had worked in other factories, he knew who to recruit to Duke Carl Eugen's new works, including the well-known painter Gottlieb F. Riedel from Meissen and sculptor J. Chr. W. Beyer. During 1761 the factory already expanded by adding a special faience production, followed by facilities for earthenware and wall tiles. Needless to say, the first years were very successful and the workforce soon grew to 179 people. During the period of 1760 to 1775, Ludwigsburg was one of the leading European facilities.
In the earliest period, Ludwigsburg porcelain figures had a classical form. Ludwigsburg porcelain had a grey-brown color, unlike the white of other German porcelains. The kaolin used was brought in from Hornberg and produced a very malleable body clay, well-suited to the figural work Ludwigsburg produced (and Duke Carl Eugen preferred). Riedel designed the forms and ornaments and often incorporated birds and insects in the painted decoration. The painter Steinkopf, in contrast, preferred to decorate in landscapes and equine subjects. After 1780, designs moved from classical forms towards the popular and elegant Louis XVI style.
The factory overreached its income regularly and the Duke funded it from the Privy Purse. After the death of Duke Carl Eugen in 1793 his successor Duke Ludwig Eugen reorganized the factory and paid all its debts. It looked good for a few years and when duke Friedrich Wilhelm Karl was elected King of Wuerttemberg in 1805 (accepting office on January 1st 1806) the factory was renamed. There apparently was (or still is) quite a lot of confusion about the official name of Friedrich Wilhelm Karl in office. A quick look in a history book reveals following facts: Friedrich Wilhelm Karl carried the name of Friedrich II as *duke* only and then became *king* Friedrich I.
 : Herzöglich-Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Ludwigsburg (1805 until 1824)
When King Friedrich I died in 1816, the factory went into decline. It was tried to lease the factory to different people, but to no avail. As the new King Wilhelm I was not interested in supporting the facility it was ordered to close during 1824.
It should be mentioned here that during 1902 and 1931 a new company, the Württembergische Porzellanmanufaktur Bauer & Pfeiffer which was located in the town of Schorndorf tried to revive the old tradition of porcelain production in the area. The company in 1918 was even allowed to use the old marks, but had to add the initials 'WPM' for 'Württembergische Porzellanmanufaktur'. Also worth a mention is the short intermezzo of a company named Porzellan-Manufaktur Alt-Ludwigsburg G.m.b.H. which was also located in Ludwigsburg and was founded 1919. Accused of misleading customers into thinking that the company had something to do with the original facility, they were forced to change their name and marks. The company went bankrupt in 1927.
 : Porzellan-Manufaktur Ludwigsburg (1947 until 1971)
Inspired by original pieces and determined to re-activate the Ludwigsburg spirit that had slept for over 120 years since the closure in 1824, Otto Wanner-Brandt re-founded the Ludwigbsburg facility in 1947. Everything went fine for the next years and Ludwigsburg was back in business. During 1965, the Hamburg-born patron Karl Emil Heitmann took over and was responsible for the expansion process for the next years and during 1967, the facility moved to its new location in the Ludwigsburg castle.
Note that from 1947 onwards, all pieces in addition to the normal mark also show a decorator mark which can be found in the 'Decorator Initials' section following the normal facility marks. Sadly, there is no information available which shows the periods of the different decorators.
 : Porzellan-Manufaktur Ludwigsburg G.m.b.H. (1971 until ...)
In 1971 the company was changed into a private limited company which resulted in the name addition G.m.b.H. and over the next few years the facility saw constant expansions. During 1993, a demonstration room was added to the porcelain gallery and in 1994 the facility was honoured by receiving a prize from the foundation of the 'Württembergische Hypothekenbank Kunst und Wissenschaft', rewarded for preserving and maintaining the porcelain manufacturers traditions. In 1995 the company regulations were reworked and the statutes from then on clearly state that all products would be hand-made; in 1998 the joint stock rose to around 1 million Euro.
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