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Suzanne Marchand: Central European Porcelain Between Mercantilism and the "Free" Market

Professor Marchand's Lecture now Available Online
February 5, 2021

If you missed Professor Marchand's talk, you can now watch it on the CAS Youtube channel. 

Marchand's talk told the tale of two porcelain manufactories, the Imperial Viennese Manufactory (WPM) and the privately owned Thuringian firm, Wallendorf, from which sprang several 19th-century market leaders (C. M. and Lorenz Hutschenreuther). While their founding dates are separated by nearly a half-century (WPM, 1718; Wallendorf, 1764), both of these manufactories passed through a crucial period in the 1780s in which enlightened absolutist economic policies began to move away from mercantilism towards a freer, more competitive, market for luxury goods. By juxtaposing the fate of these firms between 1770 and 1840, this talk described the collapsing of older forms of princely financing and artisanal production in the face of expanding competition and innovations in chemistry and labor-saving devices. It concludes with a discussion of the rapidly changing marketplace for luxury goods, in which princely penury and non-aristocratic demand for pipes, coffee cups, and dolls began to orient the industry to a new class of consumers.