History Of The Zsolnay Factory

Vilmos Zsolnay, 1900
Vilmos Zsolnay, 1900

1853: The factory was established by Miklos Zsolnay (1800-1880) in Pecs, the major provincial city in the southwest of Hungary.

1854: The factory was signed over to his oldest son Ignaz Zsolnay (1826-1900).

1863: The younger son Vilmos Zsolnay (1828-1900) helps financial by  purchasing a piece of clay from Ignaz.  

1864: Vilmos Zsolnay purchases the factory ground with buildings and  becomes silent partner. Ignaz stays as factory manager.

1865: Ignaz Zsolnay who was not successful in managing the factory  emigrates to Romania and Vilmos becomes owner of the factory.

1868: The factory was re- registered by Vilmos to his own name.

1873: Success on the World Exhibition in Vienna.

1878: World Exhibition in Paris winning the Grand Prix

1879: Ernst Wahliss becomes exclusive distributor of Zsolnay products  outside of Hungary.

1881: International Exhibition in Sidney and Melbourne honored with first  class certificate.

1891: Vilmos Zsolnay and Wartha Vince starting glaze experiments

1892: World Exhibition in Kolumbia (Grand Prix in bronze)

1893: The production of red Eosin glaze starts. (reduced glaze with iridescent  lustre)

1893: World Exhibition in Chicago (Medal for Specific merit).

1894: World Exhibition in Antwerpen (Grand Prix).

1895: International Exhibition in Nizza (Gold Medal, Grand Prix)

1896: National Millennial Exhibition

1897: World Exhibition in Brussel 

1897-1899: New young artists were employed (Sandor Apati Abt, Henrik  Darilek,    Lajos Mack, Geza Nikelsky). The famous Nabis painter Josef  Ripple  Ronai comes t  o the factory to make the decoration design for a  dinner-  service ordered by Count  Tivadar Andrassy.

1900: Vilmos Zsolnay dies . His son Miklos becomes director of the factory.

 World Exhibition in Paris.

1901: International Exhibition in St. Petersburg (Gold Medal).

1902: International Exhibition in Turin(Certificate of honor)

1904: World's Fair in St. Louis (Grand Prix)

1905: International Exhibition in Liege (Gold Medal)

1906: World Exhibition in Milan (duck fontain by Geza Maroti)

1908: International Exhibition in London (Grand Prix) and Faenza (Certificate  of honor).

1910: World Exhibition in Brussel (Grand Prix).

1911: International Exhibition in Turin (Wall tiles from Geza Nikelsky).

1922: Death of Miklos Zsolnay

1929-31:  World Depression. Economical crisis, 200 workers dismissed. Production reduced to 3 days per week. In 1930 production falls to 50%.

1935: The sculptor Andras Sinko was employed.

1948: The factory was nationalized. The production of China, Fireplaces and Pyrogranite was stopped.

1953: Production of China starts again. Ceramic artist Antal Gazder was employed.

1956: Ceramic artist Janos Török and Janos Fekete were employed by the factory.

1962: Artist Gyorgy Fürtos and Judit Nador starts working in the factory.

1963: The factory looses independence. 

1970: Opening of the factory store in Pecs.

1977: Anna T. Suranyi joins the design department.

1982: The factory becomes independent again. 

2003: Anniversary of Vilmos Zsolnay's 175th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the factory. 

The Zsolnay Family
The Zsolnay Family



From left:

Miklos Zsolnay (son), Vilmos Zsolnay, 

Terez Bell (wife), Julia Zsolnay (daughter), Terez Zsolnay (daughter).