One of the largest Baroque palaces in Germany

Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Besucherin in der Ludwigsburger Porzellanmanufaktur; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert
White gold for the duke

The porcelain factory

In 1758, Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg established a porcelain factory in Ludwigsburg. With the help of experienced specialists and his generous financial support, the production was soon of highest quality.

Ornate vase, Ludwigsburg porcelain, Gottlieb Friedrich Riedel, circa 1760/65. Image: Landesmuseum Württemberg

Ornate vase decorated with garlands.

Who knows the secret recipe?

After several failed attempts at manufacturing porcelain, Joseph Jakob Ringler (1730–1804) became the factory's second manager in 1759. He had previously acquired the knowledge necessary for mixing and firing porcelain in Vienna, Höchst and Nymphenburg. Ringler built up the company and operated it for more than forty years and faced many challenges in this time. Firewood was always in short supply as well as the suitable clay for making porcelain.

Coffee pot with scale pattern, Ludwigsburg porcelain. Image: Landesmuseum Württemberg

Coffee pot with the famous scale pattern.

Creations of the highest quality

Renowned artists ensured that Ludwigsburg porcelain was of the highest quality. For a good 20 years, between 1759 and 1779, Gottlieb Friedrich Riedel (1724–1784) was the head painter for the factory. He designed incredible patterns, original vase shapes and figural sculptures. He also created the famous scale pattern that became the trademark of the Ludwigsburg factory. It its heyday, the business, located on the Schorndorfer Straße in the Jägerhof, supported up to 180 employees.

View into the factory, anniversary egg for the porcelain factory's 255th anniversary. Image: Porzellanmanufaktur Ludwigsburg GmbH

The egg, created for the 255th anniversary of the factory, depicts a porcelain factory.

Court sculptors included

Duke Carl Eugen repeatedly commissioned his court sculptors to create models for the porcelain factory. The figures by Johann Christian Wilhelm Beyer (1725–1796) are some of the most important creations to come from the Ludwigsburg porcelain inventory. The musical soloists he created with artfully twisted postures are still entirely in the Rococo tradition. Other figures by his hand, however, already show influences of early Classicism.

Clavicordspielerin aus Porzellan; Foto: Landesmuseum Württemberg
Gitarrenspielerin aus Porzellan; Foto: Landesmuseum Württemberg

Filigreed masterpieces: a clavichord player and a guitar player.

158-piece dining set that once belonged to Queen Mary of Britain. Image: Landesmuseum Württemberg

Gilded and colorfully painted porcelain.

Fragile works of art as luxury gifts

Since the 18th century, items made of porcelain were coveted collectibles, royal table decorations and representative gifts. Princess Maria von Teck (1867–1953) received a special dowry in 1893 when she married Georg the Duke of York, who ascended to the British throne in 1910 as King Georg V: a 158-piece dining set, that was supposedly commissioned by Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg in 1770.

A variable history

Duke Carl Eugen had to temper his spending and subsequently, after 1771, drastically decreased his contributions to the Ludwigsburg factory. When other large orders failed to materialize, the factory began having financial difficulty. Its brief final period of prosperity began in the early 19th century during King Friedrich I's reign. However, the first Ludwigsburg porcelain factory was forced to close in 1824.

Porzellanmanufaktur Ludwigsburg: Formen; Foto: Porzellanmanufaktur Ludwigsburg GmbH
Porzellanmanufaktur Ludwigsburg: Bossieren; Foto: Porzellanmanufaktur Ludwigsburg GmbH
Porzellanmanufaktur Ludwigsburg: Polieren; Foto: Porzellanmanufaktur Ludwigsburg GmbH

Mold – emboss – polish: the various steps of porcelain manufacturing.

The porcelain factory to 2016

In 1947, Otto Wanner-Brandt revived the Ludwigsburg porcelain factory and in 1971 it became a GmbH. Still, the Ludwigsburg porcelain factory's 250-year history finally came to an end in 2016 due to a lack of demand for fine porcelain. Production was stopped and the factory was dissolved. Historic treasures from the Ludwigsburg porcelain factory are on display in the palace ceramics museum.

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