Styles change over 281 years. So do needs and tastes. But a good name for creativity and quality endures. That name is Rörstrand – synonymous with a proud tradition of Swedish porcelain production, and a living cultural heritage since 1726.
By then it was already 2,000 years since the Chinese had first transformed clay into beautiful, durable ceramics. Portuguese seafarers, admiring the results in the 1500s, called it porcelana, “mother of pearl”, for its sparkling lustre, but it was to take Europeans another 200 years to master the complexities of production.
In 1726 the Swedish Porcelain Manufactory was founded at Stora Rörstrand in Stockholm, and over the past three centuries millions of people in Sweden and abroad have enjoyed food on services signed with the name Rörstrand.
By the 1850s faience, flintware, bone china and feldspar porcelain were not only the pride of kings and nobility, but had begun to appear on the tables of ordinary folk, too. Then, in the 1890s, Rörstrand recruited its first artists, among them Alf Wallander, to decorate breathtaking objets d’art for the Stockholm Exhibition in 1897 and the World Fair in Paris in 1900.
It was a breakthrough for Rörstrand. The company expanded, moved to Gothenburg in 1926 and to even larger premises in Lidköping in 1936. By then Louise Adelborg’s classic Swedish Grace service from 1930 had established Rörstrand’s reputation worldwide. It heralded a new tradition of collaboration with artists and designers, and a new ambition championed by artistic manager, Gunnar Nylund: designs that could be mass-produced
to give every home the opportunity to own and enjoy beautiful tableware.
In his footsteps followed Carl-Harry Stålhane, whose experiments with countless styles and techniques during 34 years with Rörstrand had a huge effect on the development of the company’s designs. For Hertha Bengtson, function was foremost, exemplified by her revolutionary Koka Blå series of oven-to-tableware (1956–1988). And numerous other artists have also seen their names immortalised on Rörstrand porcelain, a tradition that
is shouldered today by Katarina Brieditis and her light-hearted Kurbits, Pia Törnell’s elegant Convito, and Hanna Werning’s colourful Hanna.
Porcelain is more than just ceramics. It is part of everyday life. Everyday life to which Rörstrand adds a little extra sparkle, pleasure and convenience. Yesterday, today and for many years to come.
RÖRSTRAND THROUGH THE YEARS
Rörstrand was founded in Stockholm. This is in line with the state’s desire to revive the industry after Karl XII:s war.
Rörstrand acquires the porcelain factory in Marieberg.
The first tableware in earthenware was presented. Until this year, Rörstrand produced tableware in faience; a thin-glazed earthenware.
Rörstrand bases the trademark Arabia in Finland
Rörstrand starts the production of feldspar porcelain which reminds of the original Chinese porcelain.
Rörstrand presents porcelain in an Art Noveau spirit at the Art and Craft exhibition in Stockholm.
Rörstrand moves from Stockholm to Gothenburg.
The Stockholm exhibition becomes a success for Rörstrand and the National tableware series.
Rörstrand moves to Lidköping (1936-1939).
Rörstrand is celebrating 250 years. A museum with culturally valuable porcelain collections is inaugurated.
Rörstrand and the porcelain factory of Gustavsberg is merged.
The Finnish Hackman Group acquires Rörstrand.
Rörstrand’s Nobel porcelain opens at the large Nobel anniversary.
Rörstrand celebrates 270 years and jubilees together with the city of Lidköping which celebrates 550 years.
Change of logotype.
Rörstrand celebrates 275 years.
The porcelain series Ostindia celebrates 70 years
The production of Rörstrand moves abroad and the headquarters moves to Höganäs.
Rörstrand celebrates 280 years.
The Finnish Fiskars Group acquires Rörstrand.
Rörstrand launches the Official Wedding porcelain in celebration of the Royal Wedding and the porcelain series Swedish Grace celebrates 80 years.