To help you to understand our passion we will tell you in short on these pages the story of the “Manufacture de céramiques décoratives de Hasselt” and our involvement with it.
In 1982, a small but representative exhibition of beautiful and high quality ceramics made in the Hasselt factory convinced some of us to start a collection. Other members became interested when acquiring some family pieces trough heritage. They too got inspired by the beauty and quality and started a collection.
One of the more important aspects of collecting is gathering broad information about the things you collect. So each of us individually set out looking for information about a factory that had stopped nearly half a century ago. When the factory was demolished in 1972 to make way for the Provincial Library, nobody took interest in this part of our industrial heritage. When the building went down not only the moulds and the complete archive but also a large number of finished products were destroyed.
The avid collectors continued over the years their search for these fine ceramics on antique markets, car boot sales and at auctions.
In 2000 the municipal museum Stellingwerff-Waerdenhof (now called “het Stadsmus”) contacted several collectors and invited them to participate in the preparation of a large exhibition of decorative ceramics from the Hasselt factory. This brought some of the collectors together in a specific association with the aim of stimulating further research and collaboration. The exhibition finally opened in the spring of 2002 under the title “Elegance, Hasselt ceramics of the the Belle epoque”. It was a huge success. Several thousands of visitors (re)discovered this until that moment hardly appreciated heritage. The accompanying catalogue was based on a study by the young university graduate Sabrina Polus. This meant that the history and the importance of this factory had now been researched in a more scientifically manner.
The success of this collaboration formed the basis for a second exhibition. In February 2005 it opened under the titel “Ravissant, Hasselt building ceramics 1895-1952” which pushed the scientific research even further on.
In the mean time our members continued and still continue their own research into the production and history of the factory. Their ultimate goal is to give the Hasselt Ceramics the full recognition it deserves.
We thank you for your interest and wish you lots of pleasure in discovering these beautiful artifacts.
The executive committee