The mark "K.P.M." has been used by many German porcelain makers. It was one of many used in 1723 by the Meissen Factory Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur. it was one of several major porcelain manufacturers established in Germany to supply the nobility with the best hand-painted ceramics.
In 1832 the Berlin Factory Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur was opened, using the K.P.M. mark, as well.
In 1820, a small facility in Waldenburg, Germany was founded by C.S. Rausch. It had just a single kiln. A second facility was opened by Traugott Hay. A worker at the first facility, known as the Rausch facility took over both facilities. The worker was Carl Franz Krister. He founded his own facility in 1931.
Krister tried to lure customers by imitating the KPM mark. He was very careful to use a vertical bar instead of the sceptre. When KPM Berlin added the initials 'KPM' to their mark, he added the letters "KPM" to his mark, as well. The addition of "KPM" could also mean "Krister Porzellan Manufaktur". Although, KPM Berlin tried to stop the use of the letters "KPM" by Krister, the authorities ruled otherwise. From 1844, KPM Berlin used the imperial eagle with sceptre and orb over the letters "KPM". Not to be outdone, Krister used a variaton of the mark, by leaving out the sceptre and orb.
Due to the quality of the porcelain, which was exceptional, Krister was able to obtain many wealthy customers. Krister's company became quite well known, after winning medals at the 1957 Paris exhibition. Once the business became established, the company began using its own type of base mark. The mark still included the initials "KPM". Recognition was again achieved when his porcelain earned medals at the 1867 Paris exhibition.
Carl Krister died in 1869. His company was one of the largest led by a single person. It remained a family business until 1920 when it was changed into a limited corporation.
In 1921, the Rosenthal group was the majority holding company. The name was unchanged until 1945 when Waldenburg was occupied by Russian troops. Except for skilled workers, all the German citizens had to leave Waldenburg. The skilled workers were forced to stay in order to re-educate the Polish immigrants. In 1952 the facility was re-named "Fabryka Porcelany Krzysztof".
In 1952-1953, a replacement facility was built in Landstuhl (Rhineland-Palatinate) which used the name "Krister Porzellan-Manufaktur A.G.". In 1965, it was moved to Marktredwitz in Bavaria. The name was discontinued in 1971 due to "organizational reasons". Then, in 2004, Rosenthal had the trademark registration for the Krister marks erased.
Other companies that used the KPM mark were Kranichfelder Porzellan Manufaktur in Kranichfeld(1903) and Kister Porzellan Manufaktur in Scheibe, Germany(1908).
The KPM mark is now used by collectors to refer to high-quality porcelain produced in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Watch for pieces that are being imported from China. They are marked "KPM" with the eagle. But, the sceptre is missing.