The first successful attempt at manufacturing porcelain on the territory of Czech lands occurred in the city of Slavkov. In 1793 Jan Jiří Paulus, along with Jan Pöschl and Jan J. Reumann applied for the privilege allowing for porcelain production. Their first product was a coffee set with straw decoration, executed after Thuringian models. The samples sent to Vienna, however, completely failed in the eyes of the local commission of experts who claimed that the items were merely stoneware. Since it was impossible to rival the Thuringian production with such a result, Paulus was forced to sell his enterprise to Luisa Greiner, widow after the master in the porcelain factory in Gera, in 1800.

In the beginning, the factory did not exactly succeed in increasing the quality. The turning point came as late as in 1803 when Jan Jiří Lippert arrived to the enterprise. Lippert and the mining master Václav Haas then jointly established the company Lippert and Haas. They not only succeeded in a significant increase of quality of the products but also in introducing more modern Neo-Classicist forms decorated with high-quality painting on the enamel, representing both mythological and genre scenes, portraits and vistas from the Carlsbad region, linked with a sojourn to a spa.

The switch in the Viennese policy towards the newly established porcelain manufactures represented yet another factor that boosted the company’s success. Part of this support also was the ban imposed on importing commodities from abroad and, on the contrary, the support of exportation. In 1812 the Slavkov porcelain manufacture was the first one to receive the privilege to produce porcelain on the territory of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. The development in shapes of the company’s dishware can be most markedly observed in its cups. In c. 1815 the Neo-Classicist cylindrical form was replaced by the late-Empire style ovoid forms. Five years later, the overall shape changed by rolling the upper edge of the vessel up into the form of an inverse bell, and there also arrived the characteristic elevated S-shaped lug. Berlin influences moreover contributed by the vogue of lion’s paws which resulted in the shape characteristic of the Biedermeier period and products usually decorated by refined miniature painting.

From the mid-1830s, Slavkov moreover launched the production of porcelain figures. Apart from gallant and hunting scenes featuring the environment of aristocracy, subjects from the life of bourgeoisie enjoyed increasing popularity – and the period witnessed the arrival of popular figures which at that time frequented the scene of theater and circus as well as politics.

The production of cups changed in approximately 1835. The bell-shaped forms process to octagonal shapes decorated with both ornaments and painted imitations of stones. For the next century, chinoseries were again in vogue, which anticipated the arrival of the second Rococo.

During the 1840s the production of the factory was so extensive that it was worth to lower its artistic standards from the commercial point of view. One of the essential steps was introducing the technology of printing which was first only accompanied and perfected by hand painting but later totally replaced it.

August Haas – the exclusive owner of the company from the 1840s – transferred the enterprise onto his son, Jiří K. A. Haas, and his nephew, Jan B. A. K. Čížek, in 1867. From then on, the company was presented by these two names. In the 1870s Haas and Čížek invited Alois Hauser from the School of Decorative Arts in Vienna to collaborate, and Hauser introduced neo-Renaissance elements into the production. But the – only transitionally – increased artistic value of the production which received numerous awards at various world exhibitions again began to decline and turn to historicism in the early 1880s. The technological quality, however, retained its high standard.

After 1900 both historicism and Art Nouveau shapes became apparent in the shaping of the company’s dishware and tableware, and the decoration also adopted the floral and linear decorative character. The production in the period after 1905 was in part inspired by the geometric Wiener Sezesion, and it continued in the same spirit as long as to the establishment of Czechoslovakia.

Due to its business achievements, the Slavkov porcelain manufacture was one of the few enterprises that could remain independent and avoided the fusion with the EPIAG concern which associated the Czechoslovak porcelain factories in that period.

In 1926, probably directly upon the influence of the Paris world exhibition, the manufacture established its own art department headed by Emil Stefan thanks to whom the new Art Deco style became established in Slavkov, mainly in the revived production of porcelain figures. During the Second World War the production was limited to a simple white ware, mainly intended for Wehrmacht. After the war, large part of the production focused on imitations of historical porcelain. In 1953, the Slavkov factory was transferred under the national enterprise Bohemia, based in the city of Chodov. The year 1958 witnessed the establishment of the national enterprise Karlovarský porcelán (Carlsbad Porcelain), in whose framework Slavkov became an independent factory. The modern series entitled “Ivana” became part of its production in 1960.


The person who stood at the cradle of this third Czech porcelain manufacture in 1803 was the Weimar businessman named Bedřich Höcke, related to the Thuringian family of Greiner that owned large number of porcelain manufactures. Höcke was thus able to draw all the necessary technological know-how from them. Since the initial enterprise did not do too well, it was purchased by an Erfurt entrepreneur, Jan Martin Fischer, and a native from the city of Březová, Kryštof Reichenbach, in 1811.

The factory experienced an immense upswing under their management – both as the quality of the products and the artistic point of view were concerned. It was directly influenced by the contemporary Viennese production. Březová not only specialized in dishware and tableware but also in painted pipe heads.

After Fischer’s death the co-ownership of the company was taken over by his son Christián who earned credit for the further increase in quality. Since then, porcelain from Březová has been valued as the best one in Czech lands. It gained fame not only by its painted vistas and genre scenes but also reproductions of the 17th-century Netherlandish masterpieces. Březová moreover offered cups decorated with impressed biscuit medallions.

During the 1940s the porcelain manufacture was the first one in Czech lands to be allowed to decorate its products with copper print. Its production program came up with vases, washbasins, inkpots and, last but not least, porcelain sculptures. Very popular were both grotesque and romantic subjects as well as figures of animals and caricature figures inspired by the humoristic magazine Fligende Blätter.

In the last quarter of the 19th century, the artistic standard of the company’s production dramatically declined but it at least retained high technological quality. In 1918, the porcelain manufacture in Březová was eventually consumed by the concern EPIAG which associated all porcelain manufactures on the territory of, what was then, Czechoslovakia.

Ironically indeed, the Březová manufacture began to flourish again at that time. Its assortment of dishware and tableware still tended to historical styles, but there also arrived the field of the modern Art Deco sculpture. During the period after the Second World War, Březová produced luxurious small-series porcelain. In 1957, the factory’s designers Pravoslav Radový and Jindřiška Radová came up with a design of a set intended for the World Exhibition in Brussels. Although the set was not produced on an official basis, it was offered in the shops of the Dílo (Werke) association. In 1958 the modern form entitled “Tosca”, generally attributed to the director Němeček, became part of the factory’s production. After several re-organizations, Březová turned into a solo porcelain manufacture under the wings of the departmental enterprise Karlovarský porcelán (Carlsbad Porcelain). In 1960, the production of the factory was added with the Němeček-attributed series entitled “Ivana” along with the famed “Elka”, designed by Jaroslav Ježek, and the two were presented at the Milano Triennial. During the next years, Ježek’s series entitled “Nefertiti” and “Louise” also became part of the company’s portfolio.