Musee de la porcelaine

Nyon porcelain

Two porcelain factories were founded in Switzerland in the 18th century – in Zurich (1763-1813) and Nyon (1781-1813). Porcelain factories were usually set up in the vicinity of a royal or princely court, as in the case of Meissen and Sèvres. In Nyon, however, a few notables decided to launch this new industry, despite the fact that the region lacked the essential raw material for porcelain – kaolin (it would be imported from Saint-Yriex near Limoges). Jacques Dortu (1749-1819), a painter and manufacturer of German porcelain of French Protestant origin, was director of the factory for the 30 years of its existence. He was very ambitious and worked actively to ensure that his output would be worthy of the most refined centres of porcelain production (the years 1788-1795 are regarded as its golden age). However, the situation became complicated at the end of the 18th century and the company found itself in considerable financial difficulty as a result of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic invasions. The factory was forced to close down definitively in 1813 (the manufacture of china and earthenware continued until 1979). The History and Porcelain Museum, aware of the exceptional value of this heritage, has been working since the middle of the 20th century to preserve, enrich and exhibit its collections of Nyon porcelain from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


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