: Porzellanfabrik Jacob Zeidler & Co. (1866 until 1917)
Following the construction of the main railroad connection of the region - which connected the Bavarian city of Hof with the Bohemian towns of Asch and Eger and went further on to Prague - the town of Selb itself received direct access to the line via the station in Selb-Plößberg, opened November 1st 1865. Many businessmen including Jacob Zeidler saw their chances in a direct railroad connection and had long before started to plan their moves but after hearing of the success Lorenz Hutschenreuther had with his factory Jacob Zeidler dropped his original idea of founding a restauant and decided to open his own porcelain factory instead.
The factory was founded 1866 (taking up production in late autumn 1867) and used German hard coal as well as Bohemian soft coal for firing the kiln, the mass used was based on kaolin imported from Bohemian Zettlitz and the skilled workers had been recruited from the areas of Thuringia, Saxony and Bohemia. Zeidler concentrated on household items and restaurantware as well as supplying blanks for Rosenthal which at that time was still a small decoration company located in the Erkersreuth mansion. Business was very promising and allowed expansion between 1870 and 1875. Slowly gearing up for export business the company also needed to house the still increasing number of workers, logical consequence was that in 1879 the first building for that purpose was finished on the other side of the railroad tracks. Merely eleven years later the factory once again went through a similar expansion stage and also received new kilns.
In 1912 Philip Rosenthal sen. (*1855, †1937) joined the company and was in 1913 already seen as potential new owner but only a short time later business literally screeched to a halt with the outbreak of the First World War - at that time the factory utilized ten round kilns and employed around 400 people.
 : Porzellanfabrik Rosenthal (1917 until 1969)
It took until 1917 before Rosenthal completely took over the factory following the financial problems the factory had run into during the first years of the war due to the supply situation and the collapsing markets. Shortly after the war Rosenthal was already able to restructure his complete business and the former factory in Selb-Plößberg went on to become the newly created art department in 1920.
While the art department at first concentrated on skilful decorations, the creative design aspect had to wait until the period of Philip Rosenthal jun. (*1916, †2001) who openly encouraged designers worldwide to spend time in the company studio or provide design ideas. One of the first that followed the call was the Danish artists Bjørn Wiinblad who created his first items at the Selb-Plößberg studio in 1957. As the idea proved highly successful the Rosenthal company in 1961 created the 'Rosenthal Studio-Linie' brand, intended to only present items that had been selected by an independent jury. It certainly paid off as during the next decades the Rosenthal A.G. worked with over one thousand designers and received over four hundred design prizes.
Already in the early 1960s it became apparent that the original art department was found far too small and a new complex ('Rosenthal am Rothbühl') was therefore built in 1967 while the old art department remained operational until 1969, finally to be deleted from the register in 1971.
Another mark used by the original factory was a simple 'Z.' which was used between 1887 and 1917. Take note that the later used Rosenthal art department marks are not listed here yet as they will be added as soon as I have the main Rosenthal entry ready.
(Picture courtesy of www.porzellankompass.de)
(Picture by Tom Ross)
(Picture by Bineke Dijkstra)
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