1904 Founding of New
Porzellanfabrik Tettau eGmbH
1924 Neue Porzellanfabrik Tettau AG.
1937 Neue Porzellanfabrik Tettau Gerold & Co.
Porzellanfabrik Gerold & Co.
Kueps owned by the Seltmann Weiden
company, Neue Porzellanfabrik e.G.m.b.H. founded in
1904 rose to prominence for its
exquisite, Dresden-style figurines and its hand-painted birds,
vases, ashtrays and an assortment of other household items
until it closed in 1997.
In 1904, after an argument
broke out at the old Tettauer Porcelain Factory, a new
factory was built at the upper end of the village in Tettau.
The founder along with three traders and former
workers of the Tettauer Porcelain Factory, namely: Bernhard
Gerold, Master Butcher, Nicol Kraus, butcher, August Gerold,
porcelain painter, Wilhelm Döbrich, porcelain painter,
Albert Stauch, porcelain painter, Wilhelm Brandenstein,
porcelain painter, Albert Spindler, porcelain painter,
Christian Bock, porcelain caster, all from Tettau and
Christian Stauch, carton maker from Neuenbau. Hans Püls
managed the company from 1905 - 1913.
Before the war there were
about 80 people who worked in the factory. Until 1924 cheap
bisque (unglazed) items were produced, but by 1925 they
turned toward better quality to compete with the North
American marketplace. The products of the factory
improved from year to year and were supplying mainly to
North America. By 1924 the former cooperative was
converted into a public limited company and known as the Neue Porzellanfabrik Tettau A.G.
Ernst Büttner managed the
company from 1913 - 1925.
1925, the son of co-founder Bernhard Gerold, Fritz Gerold,
at the age of 21,
took over the management of the factory and
in 1937, the registered cooperative was converted
into a limited partnership of the Neue Porzellanfabrik
Tettau, Gerold & Company earning them world-wide recognition.
The operation had not only widened and upgraded, but its
brand of mostly luxury china had much artistic quality.
In 1933 the operation had approximately 120 employees.
During the Second World
War (1939 - 1945), the number of employees went down in 1948
to 84 people. The military had taken over departments of the
factory for the production of ammunition, which was led by a
Wiesbaden-based defense contractor. After the invasion
of American troops (04/13/1945) and during the occupation,
those machines were removed.
Due to lack of raw
materials and transportation problems due to the closure of
the railway line Tettau-Pressig/Rothenkirchen in 1925, the
operation was stopped for several months.
But Fritz Gerold made it
work by selling their products domestically, The EEC area
and in the North American Market. Thus, the number of
employees in 1951 was increased to 206 people and up to 260
people in 1970 after increasing their product numbers.
During this time the factory was continuously expanded.
In 1960 the name was shortened to Porzellanfabrik Gerold & Company
In 1963 the tunnel kiln was converted to
liquid glass and added to the necessary gas plant.
In 1966 the second factory expansion was
built with a tunnel oven.
Then in 1968 Gerold built a new pattern room
and a new payroll office.
It was during this period that Gerold died at the age of 64 and the
company began to have severe problems. He had headed
the company for over 40 years. His son Günter
Gerold took over the management until 1989. See more
about Fritz Gerold.
The third expansion for the fine operation
with an electric melt was completed in 1969.
The porcelain industry was struggling at this time with
imports of cheap products from Asia. In the eighties,
therefore, sales of porcelain figures fell by two-thirds.
East Asian developing countries such as South Korea invaded
the German market. Thus, the number of employees
decreased in 1980 to 170 and dwindling to 70 people by 1994.
Günter Gerold resigned
from the company for personal reasons and the operations
were taken over temporarily by Albert Schütz,
who had resigned from that position after just a few months.
On 10/17/1989, the Gerold-Verwaltungs-Gesellschaft mbH in
Tettau had appointed Kurt Neubauer as Managing Director, but
by 1992 the Gerold company was struggling for survival.
Of the 130 employees, 39 employees had resigned before the
On 04/01/1993, the "Neue Presse" reported, "Gross errors
logged in the management bankruptcy procedure for Gerold".
The cause of the pending bankruptcy cited inside issues and
lack of innovation and gross errors in the management of the
company, as the problem, not the bad economic situation .
The Gerold company had a total of 5.5 million dollars in
A few investors together with a bank took
over the business renaming it
the New Porcelain Company, Ltd.. On
04/01/1993, a partnership agreement was made and formed with
partners Hermann Spindler, Alfonso Spindler, Rudi Draus,
Gunter Heinz and Dieter Weller. As CEO Dieter Weller
was determined and promised in November of 1993 before the
members and invited guests of honor of the co-partners to
build more and secure jobs. He further reported that a
new furnace was put in operation and the production was
started on 11/1/1993 with 12 employees.
By December 1994, after nearly two years,
former employees had received only a portion of their
outstanding wages. After tough negotiations, and great
use of the trade union IG Chemie-Papier-Keraki, Managing
Director, Richard Rau, would pay out at least 360,000 Marks
for the 104 employees at the time.
their efforts, in 1997 they were forced into selling the
company to Lindner Porzellan located in Kueps, Bavaria, who
promptly renamed the company to Porzellanfabrik Gerold
Kueps. The facility was remodeled and all the old
Gerold molds were destroyed. But alas, the ill-fated company
once again failed and was forced to cease operations in
2002. Many of the unemployed skilled porcelain
painters could find work in the local glass, wood and
plastic plants. Some fell by the wayside.
Today, Gerold Kueps is a subsidiary of the
Seltmann Weiden Group, but they no longer produce any
products using the Gerold name.
For a short time the facility in Tettau was a museum and open for tours
to the guests of a local hotel, but as of now the building is
had produced over 12,000 products, 80 percent of
which was for household use, and employed generations of the
best artisans in Europe, including many from Nymphenburg
and Meissen. The mastery of Gerold's craftsmen in every
aspect of porcelain-making is evident in the lovely figurines
in both glazed and biscuit porcelain.
Gerold figurines have the
soft muted coloring of Lladro and the whimsical
look of Hummel's. At one point, trying
to compete with Hummel, Gerold produced a number of figurines
that were colorfully hand-painted. Personally, I prefer to
collect the original figurines with the soft muted colors of
blue, pink, gray, and green.
A similar history of the company
can be found at
. If you would like to read a brief history of the
beginnings of china manufacturing in Germany visit
Recently, I was contacted by the grandson, Frieder Dürr, of
one of Gerold Pozellan's artists, Ernst Mueller, who was a
talented porcelain painter. He worked between 1937 and 1940
for Gerold. Frieder writes:
"Granddad was the chief of the art departement. He lived
from 1890 to 1973. We was leader of the art department
"under glaze porcellain" at the famous FRAUREUTH factory,
later Schaubach-Kunst, Gerold & Co, Karl Ens as well!"
(Chief Art Designer)
He is the
second man in the front row.
Manager of Neue Porzellanfabrik
Tettau, Gerold & Company can be seen behind Ernst to the
(Chief Art Designer)
He is the
fourth from the left in the front row.
Manager of Neue Porzellanfabrik
Tettau, Gerold & Company can be seen in second row
toward the middle.
This was in Bad Friedrichshall/Bavaria. Company
excursion, 1938, Senior staff / art department
|Testimony or Reference
for Ernst Mueller when he left the company.
"Mr. Ernst Mueller from Rudelstadt, who served
us as an exemplary painter from 18 January 1937 to
31, December 1939, has given us extraordinary
services in this time. Mister Mueller is an
extraordinarily full-fledged and loyal employee,
whom we leave very voluntarily from us and can
always come back here at any time. All the
best for the future."
"Testimony says: Mustermaler, it means, chief-designer
art department. So granddad was some kind of supervisor, he
have seen most of the porcellain left the factory between
1937 and 1939. Granddad was a very kind and sensitive
character. I hope, my english is not SO bad, lol! Sorry
about the mistakes. Dad was a personal friend of the Gerold
family! Every year they have send him Christmas and birthday
cards and gifts. Really nice people, as it seems."
Below: Ernst Mueller at work.
PLEASE NOTE: The information on this website is
copyrighted to me and therefore I request that you
ASK MY PERMISSION before quoting any of this information in
your item description.
Photos and some of the information above courtesy of Tettau City Hall Archives:
See more photos
Click to read the Gerold History in German