The beginnings of the Gustavsberg factory go as far back as the 1600s, when the nobleman Gustaf Gabrielsson Oxenstierna founded a brick mill in Farsta bay. Upon his death, his wife Maria Sofia de la Gardie renamed the site Gustavsberg in her late husband’s memory. Although she had envisioned converting the mill into a ceramic factory, she had little success convincing Dutch ceramic masters to move to a colder climate. It was not until many years after in 1825 that porcelain production commenced, with the intention of supplying to the growing middle class.
The very early years are defined by major production problems and a substandard quality of goods. The aesthetic was highly influenced by German and English styles as no artists were recruited. This was all to change by the end of the 19th century, when new leadership encouraged the modernisation of the factory and its work processes. With new foreign specialists recruited and technical improvements made, Gustavsberg quickly expanded into a large producer of bathroom porcelain and decorative ceramic ware.
In 1942, there was a new focus to enhance its creative lines and Gustavsberg Studio was initiated. Wilhelm Kåge, the artistic director, together with fellow artists Stig Lindberg and Berndt Friberg, had extensive creative freedom to develop proposals for new artistic lines. Over the mid century period, the factory flourished and its ceramic ware became highly sought after. These works were signed with a ‘G’ and hand, which identify it as a unique and limited edition piece.