The World Fair of 1897 in Brussels, at the beginning of the Art Nouveau period, formed an ideal opportunity for the industry to show off their skills. The Hasselt ceramics factory took this opportunity and showed its rich assortment of products to an international public. In a specially made weekly magazine about the World Fair, the factory was explicitly mentioned a prise winner at several occasions. In number 23 of this magazine appears an article on the ceramic industry in general which is illustrated with a picture of the stand of the Hasselt factory. If we compare the Hasselt stand with those of other countries (France and Holland for example) it is easy to understand why the editors chose for picturing that of the Belgian factory.
The 1897 experience must have been excellent because it inspired the factory to participate at identical fairs of Liège in 1905 and Milano in 1906. At each occasion the factory was awarded medals and honorary certificates.
The picture on the left shows us the stand of the Hasselt factory at the World Fair of 1897.
It was designed in an abundant Art Nouveau style with tile panels made to size and with texts to mark the production of the factory. On the low shelves we can see a multitude of decorative objects. It seems rather a big stand for a fairly young and small company. This shows the factories intention to impress the many visitors and it illustrates a strong ambition.
At the right a picture of the poster for the Brussels World Fair of 1897 which measures more then 2 meters in height. It is a design by Privat Livement, by many considered to be the Belgian Mucha.
A bronze medal of
the Brussels-Tervuren World Fair of 1897.