Herend Porcelain Manufactory

Fischer Mór fényképe

The photograph, taken in 1869 in Herend, shows the seventy year-old Mór Fischer with one of the masterpieces of his porcelain manufactory. Mór Fischer was born in Tata on March 25, 1799. Initially, he leased the faience factory in Tata, and the creamware factory in Pápa. Fischer started manufacturing artistic porcelain in 1839 in Herend. Herend displayed its designs at the First Hungarian Applied Art Exhibition, the Vienna Exhibition in 1845, the Great Exhibition in London, 1851, the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in New York, 1853 and the Exposition Universelle in Paris, 1855 and 1867. Emperor Francis Joseph bestowed a Hungarian nobiliary title upon the factory owner. Henceforth Fischer began to use the forename Farkasházy, which is the Magyarized version of the German Wolfshaus name of his family home in Tata. In 1874 Fischer gave the management of the manufactory to his sons. These men changed the focus of the company away from artistic creation of high quality handpainted pieces to mass production, and sales began to decline. Mór Fischer died in 1880 at the age of 81. He was put to rest at the Jewish cemetery of Tata where his grave is marked by a memorial made of porcelain.

Photograph taken by Josef Hoffmann
Herend, 1869
Hungarian Jewish Archives, F98.52

Plate made at Mór Fischer’s creamware factory in Pápa, showing the well-known portrait in the center of the Moravian Chief Rabbi, Mordechaj Benet (1753–1829), born in Hungary.  

Creamware plate
Pápa 1837–1839
Hungarian Jewish Museum 64.423
Szédertál <br /><em>Seder Plate</em>

Creamware Seder plate made in Herend in the 1840s for the festive dinner.

Creamware Seder plate
Herend, 1840’s
Hungarian Jewish Museum 64.419
Illustriertes Israelitisches Jahrbuch für Ernst und Lust auf das Jahr 5621 (1860-61).

The pictures in the Illustriertes Jahrbuch published for  1860/61 were an idealized visualization of  Jewish emancipation and religious reforms. Among others, the Dohány Street Synagogue, the Goldberger Factory of Óbuda and the Porcelain Factory in Herend were also depicted, as an indication that the modernizing Hungarian Jewish community was proud of its achievements in industrialization.

Illustriertes Israelitisches Jahrbuch für Ernst und Lust auf das Jahr 5621 (1860-61).
Samuel Winter in Tyrnau und Johann Herz in Pest, 1860.
Hungarian Jewish Archives 68.575
Kölcsönzött tárgyak a Herend zsidó öröksége című kiállításra

On the night of March 27, 1843, a fire broke out at Mór Fischer’s Porcelain Factory in Herend, causing huge damage to the building.  The porcelain plate, made in the rebuilt factory, depicts the conflagration.

Porcelain plate
Herend, 1843
Porcelain Museum, Herend 66.914.1
A herendi porcelángyár árjegyzéke (Preis-Courant)

The products of Herend were first shown to the public at the First Hungarian Applied Art Exhibition in 1842. In a letter dated 1845, Mór Fischer requests the Industrial Society of Pest to return the porcelain items loaned for the Exhibition.

Price list of Herend Porcelain Factory from 1843.

Hungarian Jewish Archives 79.43.3
Herend Porcelain Manufactory