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In 1783, Jean Népomucène Hermann Nast – a French citizen of German descent – founded the Manufacture de Nast in Paris. Although initially small, the firm soon became one of the most prominent hard-paste porcelain factories in Europe.
Manufacture de Nast enjoyed huge success in late 18th Century Paris, with works being commissioned by the Government of the French Directory and even the court of Emperor Napoleon I. As a result, Nast was able to expand his company and in 1810 opened a new, larger factory in Paris with his two sons. Here, Nast developed innovative techniques for the application of gold porcelain in high bas-relief, a process that he patented in 1810.
The Manufacture de Nast was also at the forefront of developing highly pigmented colour glazes. Working alongside the French chemist Louis Vauquelin, the factory created an intense malachite green glaze called viridian, which remained stable at high firing temperatures.
Following Nast’s death in 1817, his two sons assumed ownership of the factory. The sons maintained Nast’s high standards of manufacture, prompting French King Louis XVIII to offer the following praise in 1819: “I observe with great pleasure the talent passed from father to son; I urge you to cultivate this.” Nast's two sons continued the factory’s management until its sale in 1835.