Meissen antique tiled stoves. We wrote about the world-famous Meissen porcelain manufactory in another article of ours, however, their distinct porcelain produce of very high quality is not their only merit, since the manufactory has also gifted the world a galaxy of craftsmen who make tiles for stoves and fireplaces.
Usually when people see the word Meissen on the back of an antique tile, they immediately assume that the stove was made directly at the Meissen porcelain manufactory.
However, this is not entirely true, since there are not very many stoves with tiles from the Meissen manufactory and Meissen Manufactur is usually written on their hallmarks.
In fact, six ceramic enterprises worked in Meissen, and the authorship of the majority of the surviving antique tiled stoves and fireplaces belonged to workshops of brothers Carl and Ernst Teichert, who also branded their produce with the city name Meissen.
One should also differentiate the porcelain products of the Royal Meissen Factory and the produce of Carl Teichert’s enterprise, which had the stamps with the Meissen inscription, although they were, strictly speaking, Meissen for the bourgeoisie – inexpensive and less sophisticated products.
In 1930, the license for the characteristic Meissen ’Onion’ ornament (onion painting) was revoked from the Teichert company. Because of that, the enterprise completely switched to the production of tiles and architectural ceramics.
The founder of the company was Carl Teichert, who, together with master Gottfried Heinrich Melzer, organized the production of stove tiles and ceramics 20 kilometers from the Meissen porcelain factory.
In 1840, Gottfried Melzer developed a new technology for glazing tiles, imitating white porcelain products without crazing during firing.
In 1855, he patented it and was actively searching for a partner capable of organizing mass production of tiles using his technology. Carl Teichert became such a partner, who worked at the Meissen manufactory for a long time and who perfectly knew all the technological chains of the future production.
By 1857, the enterprise was launched, and in 1863 it already reached such capacities that it was necessary to build additional industrial buildings on Neumarkt Street in Meissen.
On February 6, 1871, Carl Teichert died in the Franco-Prussian War and the company was corporatized, and by 1879, it was renamed the Meisner Karl Teichert Furnace and Porcelain Factory (Meißner Ofen und Porzellanfabrik, vorm. C. Teichert).
By 1885, the company’s turnover was 459 million marks a year and more than 450 workers were employed on it, producing about 653 thousand square meters of tile.
In 1891, the demand for Meissner tiles was outstandingly high. In Europe, there was a construction boom, and the era of Art Nouveau has made tile facade cladding fashionable. Therefore, the enterprise expanded and additional premises were attached to the main building.
Unfortunately, in March 1919, a fire broke out at the factory, destroying the factory building almost completely. Until the end of 1919, the enterprise could not reach its former production capacities.
But by 1925, the company had fully recovered and even acquired the shares of Ernst Teichert GmbH und Meißner Wandplattenwerke Saxonia GmbH, the company that belonged to Carl Teichert’s brother, Ernst, after which it began to be called Teichert-Werke Meißen, and mainly produced tiled stoves.
The second well-known enterprise, which we have already mentioned above, was called the Saxon Kiln and Chamotte Factory (Sächsische Ofen- und Chamottewaaren-Fabrik vorm Ernst Teichert Meissen).
This venture is associated with the name of Johann Friedrich Ernst Teichert, who was Carl Teichert’s brother. Until 1868, Ernst worked at his brother’s company as a foreman.
In 1869, he organized a tile stove factory (Kachelofenfabrik) in the Cologne district (the old part of Meissen), which merged with the Saxon chamotte factory by 1872.
The company specialized only in the production of fireclay (chamotte) tiles for stoves. In 1884, Ernst Teichert also organized a porcelain factory, but the factory did not reach full capacity, since Ernst Teichert passed away in 1886.
His work was continued by his son, Christian Teichert, who fully concentrated on the production of ceramic stoves and tiles. In 1901, the company was renamed to Ernst Teichert GmbH and specialized in glazed earthenware architectural ceramics: cladding tiles, tiles for stoves and fireplaces, building materials and crockery.
In 1905, Christian acquired the Markowsky Ofenfabrik, a tile business. By 1913, the company employed more than 700 employees. And in 1925, the company merged with Carl’s company.
Today, most German antique tiled stoves belong to these enterprises. The main hallmarks on the tiles are: S.O.F.vorm.E.T.M. (Ernst Teichert fireclay factory); Meissner Thonw or Teichert-Werke Meißen (Carl Teichert enterprise); besides those, Ernst Teichert.Meissen, Meissner Material Ofenfabrik, etc. are also found.
Now the company still exists under the name MEISSEN KERAMIK GmbH. Its main produce is ceramic tiles. You can see our works based on various antique tiled stoves produced by Meissen manufactories.