To differentiate oneself – to separate oneself from the herd, with a vision of extraordinary nature is to (hopefully) build something singular, magnificent, something which can be copied, but never replicated, precisely. Zsolnay, a manufacturer of porcelain, tiles and stoneware and of Hungarian origins, is one of a kind exactly for the aforementioned reason. The Zsolnay factory was developed in Pecs, Hungary in 1853, but it was the creation, and introduction, of the eosin process in 1893 that cemented the company’s forever status. The iridescent eosin-based creations became a favorite of the art nouveau period and Jugendstil artists. It is a secret formulation that renders the porcelain a metallic sheen, that changes with the angle and light. As a sidenote, it is not commonly known that this process cannot be recreated as the original constitution was lost with time and change of hands.
Pyrogranite is another process by which Zsolnay laid claim and refers to ornamental ceramics that were originally placed in production in 1886. It is a durable material fired at a high temperature that remains frost and acid resistant. Therefore, these materials have been used in the creation of many of Hungary’s most iconic buildings including the Parliamentary Building. The entirety of historic Budapest pays homage to this trademark Hungarian brand, you can see evidence of it in the architecture, the shops, the interiors. It is something which is inherent and distinctive in this region, a cultural trademark.
Attribution to Zsolnay, Judit Galeria, Antiquesandfineart.com, Bud Pocketbook