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Berlin, Prussia, Spring 1851: it’s almost time for the first EXPO. The Minister for Economy has to choose which companies to invite to London to take part in the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations. It will be a significant moment. One name is in his mind: Villeroy & Boch. He has been hearing a lot about these porcelain makers producing pottery, crockery and tableware. He decided collect some further information, and asked to his wife.
And so the Minister found out that their porcelain are bright white and, thanks to an innovative technique they are also extremely sturdy. Plates and saucers, mugs and cups, bowls and small bowls are renowned all over the country. He also found out to have at home some of their products: like the table set they use every day. Innovation, entrepreneurship, tradition: a noble history that has created affordable porcelain. Style, technique, quality and industry: it’s a design history.
In Villeroy & Boch, they call it full-range concept. It’s one of the key strategies adopted back in 1843, when the company’s mission was to decorate the whole table. And so Villeroy & Boch started producing crystal stem glasses and flutes, glasses, cups and candle holders. And so, today, the range of products offered by Villeroy & Boch entered also the kitchen: oven pans and trays, colanders, spice grinders and ceramic knives.
It’s a story of neverending innovation, new forms, new decorations, floral patterns and oriental motifs. A table that is sophisticated without being too demanding, made unique by different but matched elements.
Villeroy & Boch has created everyday objects without giving up the passion for collections. A great success that beginning with summer 1851 in Hyde Park, has brought the brand to many other EXPOs, from Paris to Chicago, from Philadelphia to Saint Petersburg, and that has brought the brand to the same level of the most renowned Italian and French porcelain.
A bright white plate, with a double black edge and, in the centre of a black frame, a rural scene painted in lively and joyful colours. Design Naif is the name of the most famous collection by Villeroy & Boch. The collaboration with Gérard Laplau began with a postcard. In Mettlach they fell in love with that image which according to them is able to transmit with the greatest simplicity the values of tradition and rural life. And Villeroy & Boch families truly believe in these values.
These are the words of Isabelle von Boch, the spokesperson of the brand. And families, children and collectors seem to agree with her. The passion for porcelains with Laplau’s paintings seems to be timeless and spaceless. Briefly the collection became an everlasting cult also thanks to the variety of its products and patterns: dinner plates, soup plates and serving dishes; cups, bowls and mugs. Each of them representing different themes, domestic and rural scened, summer and winter times, everyday life and biblical scenes like the famous and carefree Noah’s Ark, the children’s favourite.
Presenti in 125 paesi nel mondo: è la diffusione raggiunta oggi dalle porcellane di Villeroy & Boch. Ma la sede è ancora nella vecchia abbazia benedettina di Mettlach, acquistata e trasformata da Jean-François Boch a fine Settecento, in quelle terre di confine tra Francia, Germania e Lussemburgo dove il brand nacque come fabbrica di vasellame e stoviglie.
Due famiglie, Villeroy & Boch, due imprenditori che rinunciano alla concorrenza di quartiere per realizzare un sogno più grande. La vocazione di Villeroy & Boch è internazionale, da sempre, e cavalca senza esitazione il cambiamento, vivendo e superando l’ascesa e la caduta di imperi e nazioni.
Una storia che rimanda inevitabilmente alle sue porcellane, uniche e resistenti: messe in tavola giorno dopo giorno, tramandate di generazione in generazione. Un successo che li ha condotti a disegnare e produrre i servizi da cerimonia utilizzati da Pio XII in avanti per prendere il tè a Città del Vaticano.
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