Carl Tielsch /Karl Tilsh /


Carl Tielsch /Karl Tilsh /

For its more than 150-year history, the porcelain factory, founded by Karl Tilsch in 1845 in Altwasser, later Waldenburg, (Lower Silesia) changed not only half a dozen names, but even the country of origin. We will trace the development of the famous German factory by key moments in its history.

Porzellanfabrik C. Tielsch & Co. (from 1845 to 1917).

Since its foundation, the Karl Tilsch manufactory has very quickly become one of the leaders in the porcelain production in Germany. The reason for such a rise can be explained by the fact that from the very beginning the product range was very wide. It included both household utensils and professional tableware. Much attention was paid to the production of high-quality handmade porcelain. It should also be noted that the best artists and decorators of their time were invited to the factory.

Initially, Karl Tilsch labeled his products with capital letters TPM, which meant Tielsch Porzellan-Manufactur. This brand resembled the brand of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory - KPM (Königlich Preußische Porzellanmanufaktur). In this regard, Karl Tilsch was forced to modify his stamp by adding an image of the caduceus - the rod of the anti-virus god Hermes, entwined with two snakes. But this option was not used for long. In 1847, the caduceus was replaced by an eagle, which was used in various variations for more than a hundred years.

The eagle drawing was also not the only one of its kind. A similar brand has already been used by the Berlin porcelain manufactory of F.A. Schumann (a division of KPM) since 1836. Karl Tilsch liked the products of this factory, and he worked in a similar style for a while. So the eagle also caused problems. The director of KPM filed a complaint against Tilsch with the Ministry of Finance, which led to another brand change in 1850. This time the image of a diving pigeon holding a twig in its paws was chosen. Of course, the resemblance to the eagle of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory remained, but, apparently, the differences in the drawings satisfied the injured party, and complaints about Tilsh stopped.

Karl Tilsch, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, awarded the title of Adviser to Commerce, died in 1882 at the age of 67. This death does not go unnoticed, as he was not only a successful businessman, but also a well-known social figure. One of the main achievements of Karl Tilsch is the establishment of a disability pension fund for workers. His father's work is continued by his son Edmont Tilsch, a reserve officer, businessman and philanthropist. Edmont is expanding production by opening an additional branch in Altwasser in 1906. The new facilities are also a test base, where the last tests of a full-cycle coal tunnel kiln for firing porcelain with a length of 64 meters were successfully carried out in the same year. The new oven revolutionizes the porcelain production industry. For his professional services and social activities, Edmont Tilsch was awarded the Order of the Red Eagle, 4th class and made a peer, receiving the title of Knight of the Order of the Red Eagle and Adviser to Commerce Edmont von Tilsch.

In 1913, the company reached its peak of development. The Altwasser manufactory employed 1,500 workers, including 270 potters and 110 decorators. In the middle of 1914, the factory's product catalog contained 1,637 units. It may seem that this is a modest number, but it is worth considering that one unit, let's say a coffee pot, included about 200 different sizes and decor options. The company successfully survived the war years. In 1917, the city authorities demanded to reduce production to 60% in order to conserve resources. In order to make up for the losses from the reduction of production, Edmont Tilsch was asked to transform the company into a joint-stock company, a measure that he thought about himself.

Porzellanfabrik C. Tielsch & Co. A.G. (from 1917 to 1932).

After the change of the organizational and legal form, the shareholders of the company were: the director of the factory Georg Feist, the banking house Bankhaus Gebrüder Arnold, managed by the Arnold brothers, Hugo Auvera, one of the directors of C.M. Hutschenreuther from Hohenberg (Bavaria). It was Auvera who greatly influenced the development of the factory. For example, C.M. Hutschenreuther products with the brand “Black Knight” and the additional inscription Waldenburg Studios were actually produced at the Tilsch factory. The company prospered until the stock market crash of 1929, when almost all of its customers could not pay for their orders, which led to a forced reduction of the staff to 1,200 people in 1930. In the same year, Edmont von Tilsch dies, and his son Herbert von Tilsch heads the company.

Porzellanfabrik Tielsch & Co., Abteilung der C.M. Hutschenreuther A.G. (from 1932 to 1945).

In 1932, the Tilsch factory was absorbed by Hutschenreuther (another decision influenced by Hugo Auvera), and the factory in Altwasser became a division of C.M. Hutschenreuther. The production successfully functioned until 1945 with a staff of 1,200 employees. On May 8, Waldenburg was taken by Soviet troops and placed under Polish control. The Tilsch family fled, leaving their castle Reußendorf, and C.M. Hutschenreuther A.G. completely lost production in Altwasser and was forced to expand its factory in Arzberg to compensate for the loss of production capacity. The Arzberg plant used a stamp with the initials S.T. and eagle for a short time.

Polska Fabryka Porcelain Tielsch (from 1945 to 1952).

Initially, part of the factory's equipment was dismantled, but soon production was able to be restored with the help of the remaining German workers. Under the Polish management and leadership of Jan Kacznewitz, the factory functioned until 1952, in which it was finally nationalized. During these years, the latest Tilshev stamps with the additional inscription Made in Poland were used. The brand Tielsch Walbrzych was also used, which may be misleading, but it is worth remembering that Altwasser merged with Waldenburg back in 1920.

Zakłady Porcelain Stołowej Wałbrzych (from 1952 to 1992 .)

The nationalization of the enterprise made it possible to find funds for the re-equipment and modernization of outdated equipment. The factory in Walbrzych for the next 40 years became one of the largest porcelain manufacturers in Poland, having gained a very good international reputation, thanks to the high quality of products and craftsmanship.

Zakłady Porcelain Stołowej Wałbrzych S.A. (from 1992 to the present day)

In 1992, the enterprise was reprivatized and acquired the status of a joint-stock company. The main shareholders are the Sverzhinsky and Kulakovsky families, whose representatives have been involved in the production and management of the plant for a long time. 15 percent of the shares are still owned by the state.