History

Porcelain manufacturer Rudolf Kämpf is situated in the Czech village of Loučky (Grünlas until 1918 and a part of Nové Sedlo since 1961), in the heart of Karlovy Vary region. The area is known for its long tradition of porcelain production, which developed here thanks to rich deposits of kaolin – white clay necessary for porcelain manufacturing. Porcelain manufacturer Rudolf Kämpf contributes to this tradition for over 100 years.

In 1907, an American, Benjamin Franklin Hunt, was given a permission to build porcelain factory here. In 1909 it was bought by two Rudolfs – Dieterl and Kämpf, who later in 1911 registered company under the name Porzellanfabrik Rudolf Kämpf G.m.b.H., Grünlas. It featured a brand mark of a crown above three letters RGK standing for Rudolf – Grünlas- Kämpf. Thus our porcelain factory producing excellent hand-painted crockery and accessories was born. Its exceptional location provided the porcelain works with quality raw materials and also enabled export of porcelain items. Although technology was completely different at that time: raw materials were transported in carts, then by trains, then in single-track railway wagons, Rudolf Kämpf never compromised on quality. Impeccable Czech porcelain became popular even in “porcelain” countries like Germany, France, Hungary, England etc.

When Rudolf Kämpf died in 1918, his share was divided between his wife Josephine Kämpf, daughter Antonie Kümmelmann and son Hans Kämpf, who took over the family business. In 1920’s porcelain manufacturer was flourishing: output reached 2 million units per year, 85% was exported. Company was among the first to introduce porcelain in new colours – pink, blue, green and ivory.

Changes came with the outbreak of the World War II, when the factory had to focus on Germany and soon lost all international customers. After the war porcelain manufacturer Rudolf Kämpf was nationalised and became part of the Czechoslovakian state-owned company Slavkovský porcelán and state-owned enterprise Karlovarský porcelán afterwards. In 1967 company was honoured to represent Czechoslovakian porcelain industry at the International and Universal Exposition in Montreal, Canada. Great international success lead to the influx of investments and subsequent equipment modernisation. It was at that time when our porcelain factory introduced legendary sets, based on Jiří Laštovička’s Mary Anne form and Aleš Trpkoš’s Sabina form.

In 1992 porcelain manufacturer Rudolf Kämpf passed into possession of the Czech company Leander 1946 s.r.o., and from this time it was named Leander. Porcelain factory Leander was famous worldwide as a producer of decorative hand-painted porcelain often trimmed with precious stones. Our factory changed the ownership again in 2006 – now it belongs to the Czech holding company CS Investment, that returned the factory to its old name, Rudolf Kämpf.