Herend Porcelain

Samuel Fischer

1830 - ?

The sons of Mór Fischer managed the manufactory between 1876 and 1884.

When Mór Fischer, who had made the manufactory prosper, retired, his sons took over the running of the plant. His decision was greatly influenced by the crisis following the stock exchange crash and the subsequent refusals to grant him government loans. The Fischer boys had already gathered some experience of the manufactory working at the side of their father: Leo and Samuel had worked in marketing, Dezső and Zsigmond in the services sector, Géza was an expert in kilns and glazes, Vilmos and Béla in painting. Under Samuel's direction they reorganized the manufactory and changed its profile from hand-painted porcelain objects of art to the production of simple low-cost goods. They took a chance because history and the situation of the economy left them no other choice.

The plan fell through, however. They were made to realise that they must follow in their father's footsteps. In 1879 there was a national industrial exhibition in Székesfehérvár where Mór Fischer Farkasházy took part as an artist from Tata, Samuel represented the Herend Manufactory as a purveyor of porcelain to the royal court of Hungary, and Mór's second son, Vilmos, appeared as a porcelain painter from Cluj. Samuel won the gold medal, as he did at two World's Fairs (1876, Philadelphia and 1883, Amsterdam), but his success was mostly due to the porcelain objects manufactured at the time of Mór. Their opposing ambitions were doomed to failure: in vain did they strive to follow in their father's footsteps and manufacture artistic porcelain, they had little initiative for innovation; in the field of mass production their prices simply could not compete with cheap Bohemian porcelain. No amount of loans or credit could save them from decline so in the end they had no other choice but to put their inheritance, the Herend Porcelain Manufactory, up for sale. There were long negotiations to ensure that Samuel stay on as director and Géza also continue working there, but in the end both had to go. The manufactory was sold to the state in 1884, and the brothers moved to Tata where they took over a plant run by Dezső since the death of their father in 1880. That was another part of their inheritance, which continued producing under the name of "Mór Fischer's Sons Porcelain Works". Herend and the great treasure of Herend styles, forms and décors had become part and parcel of their life from which there was no escape for them.

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