History: KPM, also known as Konigliche Porzallen Manufaktur, was founded in Berlin, Germany in 1761. The company was started by a businessman named Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. He purchased a small porcelain factory and then began expanding it quickly. He poached employees from other established porcelain manufacturers in Germany to come work for KPM. Several important artists at Meissen came to work from KPM; this helped reduce the learning curve. Meissen was the first company to successfully produce and sell porcelain in Europe. Like many luxury brands of centuries ago, KPM porcelain is valuable today because it was expensive when it was first produced. KPM owes its initial success to one person, Frederick the Great.
Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, took over the KPM porcelain manufacturing facilities in 1763 when Gotzkowsky could no longer afford to run the company. Frederick was able to promote KPM porcelain unlike anyone else could. He created a business and competitive environment where it would have been virtually impossible for KPM to not succeed. He imposed restrictive laws about the sale and production of competing porcelains in his country. KPM also benefited from no tax regulations. However, perhaps the greatest reason that KPM is still known today is because Frederick the Great was a renowned gifter. Royal collections all across Europe and Russia almost always have exquisite examples of KPM porcelain in the form of dinnerware, figures, or plaques. Any time you can associate a luxury good with royalty it has a better chance to stand the test of time.
There are other reasons that KPM porcelain is important today besides the patronage of Frederick the Great. KPM distinguished itself based on its fine high quality porcelain and by its excellent decoration techniques. Today KPM is most famous for its plaques. European porcelain in the 18th century was mostly used for China and decorative items like figures and vases. One could argue that all of those things are art. However, KPM really took it to the next level and made their porcelain creations displayable pieces of art in the form of plaques. We have a full guide about KPM plaques. Despite doing many things well, it is safe to say that if KPM never made plaques that they might just be another short note in antique book instead of the entire book.
We hope that you will find that we have the best site on the internet about antique KPM porcelain. We have tried to include as much information as possible about values, authentication, marks and appraisals. We encourage you to contact us for any reason at all. Just send us an email: Info@KPMPorcelain.com