The History of HerendSince 1826, Herend (pronounced Hairend) has produced one of the world's most outstanding and distinctive porcelains. The manufactory name is derived from the small village of Herend located not far from Budapest, one of the great capitals of Europe. Though the earliest details of porcelain history in Hungary are incomplete, artifacts from the region confirm the area as among the first earthenware producers in Europe. During the 16th century, the famous majolica potteries in Buda produced impressive ceramic wares. In the year Herend's history was first recorded, Vince Stingl invested in a facility that began to produce a porcelain that would survive the times and transform a small village's cottage industry into a recognized and respected international name.The modern reputation of Herend began in 1839 with the arrival of Moric Fischer. Realizing that he could not compete with larger commercial factories, he directed Herend into the field of reproducing old, valuable porcelain patterns, complementing Meissen, Sevres, and Chinese tableware. One such instance involved the King of Sardinia, owner of a very old set, who wanted some missing pieces replaced. Herend was appointed the task. After a full year of careful study and experimentation Fischer completed the set. Because he felt these replacements might be received with suspicion, Fischer asked the king if he would be permitted to deliver the set personally to Turin castle. Fischer requested that he be left alone to arrange the collection for the King's inspection. In the room, he took the original Chinese pieces from their glass cabinets, arranged them on the table and put his own product into the cabinets. He then presented to the King and his courtiers the pieces on the table as his own creation. Fischer listened patiently to criticism, that these pieces were not nearly so perfect as the porcelain in the glass cabinets, before revealing the truth. The story spread, confirming Herend's artistry and led to Fischer's unveiling of original designs. At the London World Exhibition in 1851, Queen Victoria ordered a very large table service for Windsor Castle. Decorated with a Chinese design of flowers and butterflies, it has since become famous as the Queen Victoria pattern (below). Many aristocrats followed the Queen's example and Herend continued to prosper. The company's first exposure to the American market came in 1853 with their medal winning entry at the New York Exhibition of Industrial Arts. In 1866, Fischer was elevated to nobility and titled Moritz Fischer von Farkashazy in recognition of his role as a pioneer of Hungarian industry. His grandson Jeno, who took over in 1897, initiated a second wave of innovation leading to successes at international exhibitions. After his passing in 1926, the factory continued under the leadership of Counts Andras and Moric Eszterhazy until it was nationalized in 1943. Since that time, Herend has continued to update their facilities without sacrificing the traditions of the highest quality hand painting inherent in all Herend porcelain.