About Kähler


Since the foundation of the brand in 1839, handmade design traditions have been passed on from generation to generation. Explore the history of the Kähler family here.

1808–1884: Herman Joachim Kähler

Herman J. Kähler immigrates from northern Germany to Næstved in 1839. Shortly after his arrival in 1839, he starts his pottery at Kindhestegade in Næstved, where the story of Kähler begins.

Herman J. Kähler is a trained potter and runs Kähler from 1839 to 1872. During this period, he has seven children, of whom the two sons, Herman August and Carl Frederik, will continue to run the company.

When Herman J. Kähler retired in 1872, his sons Herman August Kähler and Carl Frederik Kähler took over the company. Carl Frederik continued ceramic production in Næstved, but it was Herman August that put the Kähler ceramic on the world map.

1846-1917: Herman August Kähler

After completing his apprenticeship with his father, Herman August is taught glaze painting at Holmegaard Glasværk, then travels around Europe and works in workshops in Berlin, Strasbourg and Paris. In 1867, he returns to Næstved full of impressions and inspiration, ready to take over the workshop.

Already in 1875, he builds a new workshop at Kählersbakken in Næstved. This is where he really starts to try his hand at artistic design and experiment with glazes. This artistic venture attracts many well-known Danish artists, and so begins the artistic colony in Næstved. The glazed colors became Herman's signature – especially the red luster. Normally, this was only used for decoration, but at the world exhibition in Paris in 1889, he put up a product completely dipped in metallic red luster glaze. Together with his signature, HAK, the red lustre became Kähler’s trademark.

It was also man-of-the-world Herman August Kähler who generated international interest in Kähler. He attended exhibitions around the world, generating interest from retailers and museums in Paris, New York, Chicago, Malmo, Stockholm, Brussels, Berlin, and San Francisco. Herman August had a major impact on the Kähler workshop. To this day, his initials, HAK, are stamped at the bottom of all Kähler products.

1876–1940: Herman H.C. Kähler 

In 1917, Herman H.C. Kähler takes over the company from his father, Herman August Kähler. Times and tastes have changed, and Herman H.C. returns to old pottery traditions and starts producing wheel-turned objects decorated with the old technique of horn painting. His style was beautiful, and marked by his own personal interpretation.

Herman H.C.'s great strength was that he managed to inspire and encourage the talented women who painted the ceramics to challenge various decoration techniques. It was the horn-painted split decorations in particular that characterized the works of Kähler in the time under Herman H.C. He was one of the Kähler family's greatest designers, and it was his artistic imagination that launched the workshop into horn-painted split decorations.

1906–1979 & 1904–1996: Nils Kähler & Herman Jørgen Kähler

Nils Kähler and his brother Herman Jørgen Kähler take over the factory in 1940. It will be the last generation of the Kähler family that runs the company. Both brothers work as designers, but Nils takes over the artistic function and Herman J. the administrative and practical function.

Nils Kähler had a special talent for following the design trends of the time, which is evident from his production.

The era as a family-run company with the fourth generation of the Kähler family ended in 1974.

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