Zsolnay Pottery


The iconic Hungarian art pottery of Zsolnay :

Zsolnay Vase and EwerFor 158 years, the iconic Hungarian company of Zsolnay has been producing innovative  and high quality ceramic wares. What started as a small family ceramics workshop in Pécs in 1853  had grown into a modern factory by the 1880’s, thanks to Vilmos Zsolnay’s long decades of painstaking and dedicated experimentation. Founding father  Miklós Zsolnay originally established the first manufacturing shop of ceramics for his son Ignác. In 1863 the younger son Vilmos took control and expanded into a factory production.


The Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory


The factory’s first major success was reached at the 1873 World Exhibition in Vienna. On the basis of its product displays, the factory received a great number of orders from England, France, Russia, and even from America. By the 1870’s the  the Zsolnay family rapidly became well-known and highly appreciated in Europe, and the business employed 20 workers.

The family were perceptive and their experimental nature in historical and Art Nouveau styles made the Zsolnay ceramics successful at many fairs and exhibitions (Vienna, Paris, London, Milan, Torino, California US). The success achieved during the 1878 World Exhibition in Paris was tremendous. The jury praised the Zsolnay collection as being unique and gave it the gold medal, the so-called Grand Prix. Numerous buildings belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were also decorated with Zsolnay tiles. Prior to the 1890s, the company produced ornate pieces inspired by Islamic pierced wares and traditional Hungarian wares. It was not until 1893, when Vilmós appointed the chemist Vincse Wartha as artistic director, that Zsolnay began to specialize in Art Nouveau-inspired ceramics with crystalline metallic glazes.

Zsolnay fountain in Pecs with sculptured heads

Zsolnay fountain in Pecs


The most famous invention of the factory was the creation of ‘eosin”, a metallic shiny glaze on ceramics. . Their technique of firing glazes at high temperatures remains unique even today.

The Zsolnay production suffered many hardships during the 2 World Wars from problems sourcing materials to having to abandon artistic production for the creation of electrical insulators and the like. Along with  being bombed in the WW2. The incoming Communist Regime , although recognizing it as a National  Treasure , were very restrictive to overseas markets.

After Vilmos Zsolnay’s death, in 1900, his son Miklós took over the management and at the end of 1991 the  factory was upgraded . In 1995 the business was privatised  and the main owner was the Hungarian Investment and Development Bank (MBFB) . The new owner  set a goal of  preserving  the historically significant, long tradition of  Zsolnay and making a profitable plant without changing the product structure.

Zsonlay pottery showroomZsolnay Showroom

The Zsolnay factory today still pursues innovative design and permits designers to conceive beautiful pieces that explore modern expression and utilize their earlier technical and stylistic achievements with organic shapes and metallic glazes. It  has also revitalized  the company’s tradition of creating  architectural ceramics with the production of vividly colored weather-resistant tiles and ornamentation, from statues to decorative clocks , examples of which can still been seen on buildings throughout Hungary.




Zsolnay vase with red tree motifZsolnay Vase



Zsolnay ceramic vase with botanical motifs and ed butterfly motif on a black background

Hand painted Zsolnay vase with botanical decoration



Rich red glaze vase by Zsolnay

Vase Zsolnay Museum



Art Nouveau Figural Compote ZsolnayClassic Zsolnay Art Nouveau Figural Compote.

( John & Rico’s Zsolnay Store )



Zsolnay Orchid Tea Set

 The Viennese Rothschilds  commissioned the company to make a tea  service and  sent an illustrated book on orchids  for the design, which featured a different orchid for every piece in the 24 set.



Zsolnay Vase with eosin metalliic glaze

Zsolnay vase with eosin iridescent glaze



Zsolnay Pottery vase and pitcherZsolnay ( Dr. Gyugyi Collection )



Zsolnay Ceramic Table with geometric botanical patternZsolnay Ceramic Round Table



Mid Century Zsolnay vase

Zsolnay 60’s inspired Vase



Red glaze vessel by Zsolnay

Red Zsolnay Planter



Zsolnay Art Nouveau vase

Art Nouveau vase with pewter



Zsolnay eosin glazed jug

Zsolnay Pitcher 1918 ( John And Rico’s )



Art Nouveau Red Ceramic FireplaceZsolnay Art Nouveau Fireplace



Zsolnay eramic Art Nouveau vase wtih gold snake handleZsolnay Eosin glazed snake vase



Zsolnay Art Nouveau ceramic vase with abstract wrap around handles

Zsolnay multiple handle vase



Zsolnay blue and green Art Nouveau vase with botanical relief decoration

Zsolnay Art Nouveau vase



Zsolnay Antique Art Nouveau ewer

Zsolnay metallic glaze ewer



Zsolnay pottery vessel with butterfly motif

Zsolnay butterfly vessel




Zsolnay tulip sculpture with red flower

Zsolnay red tulip



Art Nouveau red glaze vessel with female figure by Zsolnay

Zsolnay Art Nouveau vessel




Zsolnay cache pot with iridescent glaze

 Zsolnay Art Nouveau cachepot.

John & Rico’s Zsolnay Store



Zsolnay vase with mother and child motif

Zsolnay iridescent glaze vase


Red contemporary abstract sculpture by Zsolnay

‘Thinking’  – Zsolnay contemporary sculpture



Zsolnay red modernist pitcher

Mid Century Zsolnay Pitcher


Zsolnay ceramics vases hunting scenes

Zsolnay ceramics vase with  hunting scenes of Diana the Huntress




Zsolnay Manufactory gardens




Zsolnay Fruit Bowl



GYUGYI-ZSOLNAY- python snake ceramic Zsolnaay sculpture

Zsolnay coiled python sculpture





Zsolnay Table Lamp with Green Taurus Figurine





Zsolnay centrepiece with four female figurine supports





Zsolnay Art Nouveau iridescent glaze vase





Unusual Zsolnay eosin glaze figure sculpture




Art Nouveau mermaid and lover vase – Zsolnay





Turquoise mottled surface vase – Zsolnay





Zsolnay Esoin Three Graces figure vessel

Pinter Auctions




  1. Susan Malinowski/Zol
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I searched out your sight i am a zolnai the spelling was changed yrs ago my father is still alive his mother Sophia Elizabeth came over to america from hungry. My dad would know more history than i do is there an address he can write to he has no computor to old he says he will be 93 this yr thank you

  2. robbie
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the fascinating insight, its a shame your father hasn’t had the chance to see how the unique Zolnai brand is being appreciated on the internet.

  3. soey
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    to beautyfull for mere words

  4. Joann Pesente
    Posted December 22, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Hello,I’m emailing you in hopes you can give me a date for a piece I have.I exhausted my research months ago because I was stuck.The mark that is on it has been impossible for me to find.Might you share with me who could help with my dilemma,Thank you so much for your time and greatly anticipate hearing from you.

  5. Éva
    Posted August 27, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink


    (more Zsolnay ceramics and Hungarian architecture)

  6. Scott Eaton
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Where can I find prices for the work?
    I am most interested in the bull lamp. Are there galleries or authorized dealers I can contact?
    Thank you,
    [email protected]

  7. Robbie I. Hood
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    The green eosin Taurus lamp can be sourced here — https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/lighting/table-lamps/table-lamp-taurus-figurine-zsolnay/id-f_1234264/

  8. Ashley
    Posted November 3, 2018 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I have a Zsolnay piece that I inherited from my aunt in Vienna that I would like to date. The stamping on the bottom is “Zsolany Pece 4132 18. I believe it would be an incense pot.
    Would anyone know how I could find out more about this piece?

  9. Ali Suliman
    Posted December 11, 2020 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    a m from syria
    nice sculpture

  10. BEN AMEUR Nabil
    Posted August 22, 2021 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Bonjour Ali, êtes vous céramiste ?
    Êtes vous intéressé par les effets que zsolnay réalise…?

2 Trackbacks

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