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What is the history of F. & W. Goebel of Germany?

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Quick Answer

The Goebel Porzellanmanufaktur GmbH was founded in 1871 in Germany and originally named F. & W. Goebel. The company made porcelain art pieces for homes, and that year, the first factory opened under the leadership of Franz Detleff and William Goebel. The duo opened another factory in 1878 in Oeslau-Rödental in Germany.

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Full Answer

In 1903, Goebel took control of the company and began selling porcelain pieces to the United States. In 1919, the company began making a luxury brand of porcelain pieces known as Kunstwerkstätten Wilhelmsfeld.

In 1935, the company under the leadership of Goebel's grandson, Franz Goebel, formed a business partnership with Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel and the Convent of Siessen. This partnership gave the company rights to adapt Hummel's artworks into porcelain pieces, beginning the Hummel figurine craze in the United States.

In 1950, the company began making Disney-themed porcelain pieces, and in 1953, Heinz Schaubach's designs became part of the company's porcelain pieces.

After September 11, 2001, the company began to reorganize its business practices, and in 2006, Merrill Lynch refused to continue financing the company, prompting the company to become insolvent. However, in 2007, the company became known as Goebel Porzellanmanufaktur GmbH under the shareholder control of investment companies worldwide. The company divested its Hummel division in 2008 but retained its family-run business model.

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