Rozenburg Pottery from Den Haag in Holland

Rozenburg Pottery from Den Haag in Holland

What is Rozenburg Pottery

Rozenburg is one of the most famous pottery factories in the Netherlands. The Rozenburg Pottery factory produced ceramics and porcelain from 1883 untill 1917. Rozenburg pottery and porcelain is one of the highlights of the Art Nouveau movement in the Netherlands. The factory is world famous for the eggshell porcelain, introduced by Rozenburg in year 1900 at the world exhibition in Paris.

The History of the Dutch Rozenburg Factory

The Royal Pottery Factory Rozenburg was founded in 1883 by Wilhelm Wolff Freiherr von Gudenberg, who was originally from Germany. His ambition was to produce traditional bleu and white Delft ceramics, very popular in Holland at the end of the 19th century. Von Gudenberg had previously worked at the Delft factory De Porceleyne Fles. But through the collaboration with Theodoor Colenbrander, who became artistic director of Rozenburg in 1884, the course of the factory quickly took to a new direction. The Rozenburg factory made revolutionary designs for that period in time, in free, expressive and mostly abstract forms.

Rozenburg Pottery by Theodoor Colenbrander
This set was designed by T.A.C. Colenbrander, made in 1886 and is part of the collection of the Rijksmuseum. These designs show great freedom in both form and decoration. The decorations are modern: abstract representation of flowers and plants in bright colours with Asian influences.

Rozenburg and the Art Nouveau Style

The pottery painters were also inspired by the then prevailing fashion. The Art Nouveau Period was popular in the Netherlands between 1884 and 1914. In the Art Nouveau period, artists looked for inspiration from nature with graceful and organic shapes. Oriental art and the Arts and Crafts movement from Great Britain also provided the designers of Rozenburg with the necessary inspiration. It is mainly dark floral and animal motifs that characterised the first period of the factory.

Rozenburg Pottery with floral and animal design
Here are three examples from my own collection of Rozenburg vases. Hand-painted ceramic with flowers and birds in dark colours, in the typical Art Nouveau style.

Eggshell Porcelain, a big innovation for Rozenburg

Between 1883 and 1895 the Dutch Rozenburg factory was managed by various directors who failed to make a big success with the ceramics. This changed when Jurriaan Kok took office in 1895. Under his supervision, experiments were carried out with various processes that eventually led to the launch of a new product: eggshell porcelain. Rozenburg started in 1899 with the production of this delicate and finely painted porcelain. This collection was first exhibited at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 and became an international sensation. Various museums, including the Musée des Beau Arts in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, purchased pieces and Rozenburg’s eggshell porcelain won several prizes. Rozenburg Eggshell porcelain is still one of the highlights of Art Nouveau in the Netherlands. Decors consists of fine lines and patterns with influences from nature, depicting flowers, birds, fish and insects.

Rozenburg eggshell porcelain
Three vases by Rozenburg, made in eggshell porcelain. On the right a vase with a decoration of irises, in the middle a vase with lilacs and spiders, painted by Samuel Schellink (1902) and on the left a vase decorated with branches and birds, painted by J.W. van Rossum (1900). All three are part of the collection of the Dutch Rijksmuseum.

Rozenburg from 1883 till 1917

After the success of the world exhibition in Paris in 1900, a successful period followed for the Rozenburg factory from The Hague n the Netherlands. Orders increased, and several other international exhibitions followed. But unfortunately the Rozenburg Pottery factory was unable to maintain this success. Due to the high costs of production and increasing competition, from other Dutch pottery such as Zuid-Holland from Gouda, Rozenburg lost more and more of it’s market share. Art Nouveau also slowly went out of fashion in The Netherlands. New innovations from Rozenburg, such as the launch of Juliana pottery and ‘incruust’ pottery, received much less enthusiasm from the public. When the First World War broke out in Europe in 1914, raw materials became scarce. In the same year, the factory ceased production. Rozenburg was liquidated in 1917.

Rozenburg in historic pictures

This is the room where ceramic models were produced at the Rozenburg Factory in The Hague
This is the room where the ceramic models were made in the Rozenburg pottery factory in The Hague.
Rozenburg factory painters room
The models were painted in this room. Rozenburg made pottery and porcelain in the Art Nouveau style.
Ceramic models were glazed in this room at the Rozenburg Factory, to end up with a glossy finish.
Here you can see the space in the Rozenburg factory where vases and other objects were glazed.
Rozenburg Den Haag showroom
This is the showroom in the Rozenburg pottery factory in The Hague, 1883-1917.

Rozenburg Pottery signs, marks and logo’s

All Rozenburg objects are signed with different marks, symbols, signatures and logo’s. Want to learn more about when and by whom your Rozenburg object was made? Please read this article.

Rozenburg Pottery for sale

I would like to expand my existing Rozenburg collection. Do you have a Rozenburg vase or wall chargers for sale? Then please get in touch. Below you see a part of my own Rozenburg collection, some of which are available for sale, and others are not. These objects belong to my private collection.

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