Rosenthal, Philipp

views updated


ROSENTHAL, PHILIPP (1855–1937), German industrialist and founder of the Rosenthal porcelain works. Born in Werb, Westphalia, Rosenthal entered the porcelain trade as a young man, and left Germany in 1872 to work in the same field in the United States. Upon his return in 1879, he established a porcelain factory in Asch, Bohemia, and subsequently a second in Selb. Together with his brother Max, he developed the enterprise into the largest of its kind in the world. "Rosenthal" became a hallmark for fine china and many of its pieces are regarded as art items. Rosenthal converted to Christianity. In 1933 he came into conflict with the Nazis due to his Jewish origins. Due to his company's reputation, the Nazis did not risk attacking Rosenthal directly; eventually, however, they were able to have him declared legally incapacitated by exploiting quarrels in his family, thus depriving him of his rights.


Wininger, Biog; H. Schreiber, D. Hanisch, F. Simoneit, Die Rosenthal-Story (1980).

[Monika Halbinger (2nd ed.)]