Published 25th January 2009
Of all the major porcelain manufactories in Germany perhaps the least known and the shortest lived was Frankenthal. Karl Hannong the brains behind a French faience workshop moved his staff in the late 1750’s to an empty army camp in Frankenthal. After a difficult start the death of Karl and an internecine struggle over the secret recipe for ‘porcelain pots’ meant that the surviving brothers Joseph and Peter had to rely increasingly on Carl Theodor Prince Elector, Count Palatine and Duke of Bavaria.
It was not long before Carl a long time patron of the arts and founder of a Science Academy took over the administration of the Franthenthal works. This led to a period of relative stability and arguably produced some of the best quality porcelain outside of Meissen during the 1760’s.
So its Hats off to Carl, patron of the arts and all round good guy – unfortunately as a monarch and politician he rather failed at his day job by leading his country into some ill considered conflicts and dodgy blue sky thinking when he proffered a playground swap for the less interesting bits of his country with the then neighbouring Austrians. Eventually when he shuffled off this mortal coil after suffering from a stroke, did his citizens rush out in patriotic fervour and buy up all his remaining pots as future antiques and collectors items? No, apparently not , instead they celebrated for three days, so much then for best intentions.