1755 - Clemens August, Archbishop and Elector of Cologne establishes a factory for producing porcelain

1755 - Clemens August, Archbishop and Elector of Cologne establishes a factory for producing porcelain

Elector Friedrich August I of Saxony, known as "Augustus the Strong", was the founder of porcelain production in Europe. Porcelain was being successfully produced at Meissen in Saxony since 1809. This led to Clemens August, Elector and Archbishop of Cologne, wanting to establish a similarly successful production facility in Bonn. In addition, the porcelain lover's passion for collecting acted as a motive for establishing his own porcelain factory and was also seen as a way of reducing costs. The Archbishop of Cologne also hoped to create wealth and splendour for his residential city.

In 1755 he therefore founded the Poppelsdorf Faience Fabrique on the grounds of the so-called 'Katzenburg' (a small summer mansion surrounded by fish ponds) south of Poppelsdorf town centre, near Poppelsdorf palace. Despite consulting a porcelain connoisseur in 1756, the attempt to produce porcelain in the same manner as the famous Meissen porcelain failed, and the elector quit after two years and withdrew his support.

The Poppelsdorf Faience Fabrique experienced a chequered history, which was marked by frequent changes of ownership until finally, in 1825, it was taken over by Bonn businessman, Ludwig Wessel, after which it enjoyed success as the "Porzellan- und Steingutfabrik Ludwig Wessel" ("Ludwig Wessel porcelain and stoneware factory"). As this was accompanied by the development of new production facilities, the small original factory was bought by Bonn businessman, Franz Anton Mehlem, in 1836.

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