How to recognize majolica products from Nieborów?
The furnace presented on our website was made in the factory founded in 1881 by Prince Michał Radziwiłł in the Majolica Workshop in Nieborów. Although it only existed for 11 years, the factory in Nieborów created a characteristic, recognizable style, apparent also in our exhibit. The production of majolica goods flourished in the years 1881–1885. Tableware, predominantly, was produced here: platters and plates, soup tureens and amphoras, jugs, mugs, beer mugs, small saucers and intricately decorated fixtures for cutlery, but also fireplaces and decorative furnaces, like the one currently located at the “Greek House” in Myślenice. In 1885, even a majolica altar and a hanging candlestick designed for the local church were created, in which you can still see them today.
The most common decorative motifs were switches of acanthus leaves, stylized plant motifs, volutes (ornaments in the form of scrolls or spirals), mascarons, and also very often representations of Polish rulers in the form of medallion busts. In view of the 200th anniversary of the victory at Vienna, Jan III Sobieski was the ruler whose image appeared on the ceramics from Nieborów most often. Among the decorative themes, there were also romantic landscapes, views of parks and the often-repeated palace in Wilanów and the Łazienki Palace on the Water. The most characteristic features of the majolica from Nieborów, however, are the colours used by the artists who create them. A delicate golden-brown colour with accents of green predominates, as well as the very characteristic blue colour, sometimes changing into navy blue and most preferably combined with yellow or orange.
Until 1885, the products of the Nieborów factory were marked with the MPR factory mark (Michał Piotr Radziwiłł) topped with the princely mitre, and from 1886, connected with the ST signature (Stanisław Thiele, a factory manager brought over from France) placed next to the princely sign. From 1889, only the ST signature was used. In addition to these marks, the signatures of painters/decorators are often found, as well as occasional numerals denoting the dates or product batch numbers.
Products from Niebrów enjoyed great popularity among contemporary people. A store in Warsaw, called “the main warehouse”, was even opened at 5 Berga St. (today’s Traugutta St.). However, in 1892, production was finished. In the years 1903-1906, the sculptor and ceramist Stanisław Jagmin undertook a short-lived attempt to resume the factory’s operation, which resulted in the production of interesting and original Art Nouveau ceramics. The effective reactivation of the Nieborów production facility, which, fortunately, continues its operation to the present, has only occurred 100 years after its inception in September 1982. The production of characteristic ceramic products has been resumed in the former, restored factory building. Currently, both copies of dish-ware from the 1880s, as well as new works inspired by old designs are created there. In 1885, a permanent exhibition presenting the history and artistic creations of the factory once owned by Prince Michał Piotr Radziwiłł was opened in the former painting room.
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