The Porzellan Manufaktur of Nymphenburg was established in 1747, when Bavarian Empire Elector Max III Joseph set up the Electoral Porcelain manufactory at his "Grünes Schlössl" in Neudeck, near Munich. Located near the palace of Nymphenburg, the manufacture has been operating with its natural millstream ever since.
Named ‘White Gold’ in the 18th century, porcelain was at the time regarded as one of the most valuable and desirable luxury items, adored and admired almost as much as relics and jewels. Porcelain was the epitome of courtly cultivation, and served highly representative purposes. Accordingly, the Wittelsbach family was at first the main procurer of electoral porcelain – they commissioned both the "Royal Bavarian Service" as well as gifts for befriended electorates and royal families. Each plate and cup was stamped with the shield of diamonds, and this porcelain became the Electoral's trademark export.
In 1761, the manufactory relocated to the northern circular building at the Nymphenburg palace. The porcelain manufactory blossomed there over the coming years. Its reputation for producing porcelain of the highest quality and craftsmanship soon spread beyond the country with Nymphenburg porcelain even being sent to Venice. In 1815, the manufacture was bestowed the title of State of the Arts Institution by the Bavarian kingdom. Porcelain painting blossomed anew when King Ludwig I took office in 1825; he commissioned plates and platters from the manufactory which were not used as services, but which were meant to document the most important works of art of the time. These "reproductions" on porcelain may today be found at the Munich Residenz and Marstall museums.
Although large parts of the buildings were destroyed during World War II, the valuable moulds and archival models of the manufacture were saved – along with its legacy. The historic site of the manufacture was rebuilt after the War by the brothers Alfred, Fritz and Kurt Bäuml. Now under the patronage of Wittelsbach Compensation Fund, the manufacture continues utilizing the time-honored techniques developed by its predecessors, with re-editions of its archival designs, as well as new collections with guest artists including Ted Muehling, Michele Oka Doner, and Karl Lagerfeld, among others.