The Rörstrand company has produced ceramics for nearly 300 years and is one of Sweden’s oldest industries. The Swedish Porcelain Works was founded in Stockholm by the Porcelain Society in 1726. The German ceramicist Johann Wolff was commissioned to produce porcelain, but ultimately succeeded only in the manufacture of faience. In 1758, Rörstrand acquired the Marieberg porcelain factory and by 1770 the company succeeded in the production of English style flintware. After study tours were made to the Staffordshire potteries in 1824, printed earthenwares were produced in large quantities. The firm attracted noted designers and artists in the latter half of the 19th century and won a gold medal in the great art and industrial exhibition in Stockholm in 1897. Production facilities were moved to Gothenburg in 1926 and later to Lidköping in the 1930s. Ownership of the firm subsequently changed hands several times and in 2009 ceramic production was moved to Sri Lanka and Hungary. The factory now houses the Rörstrand Museum.
The majolica output from Rörstrand has not been well catalogued. A variety of functional tablewares, jardinieres and pedestals in Art Nouveau and Barbotine styles are documented. The firm is also known to have produced a number of majolica pieces which are virtual replicas of successful designs of Minton, Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters.
It is unknown whether all majolica was marked but some forms bear an impressed “RORSTRAND”. Other pieces include the name in italics surrounded by the three crowns featured in the lesser coat of arms of Sweden. The latter mark may be either impressed or printed.
Antiques from Trilogy
Philppe Meunier & Juan-Alonso Defrocourt