Vienna was the site of the second porcelain manufactory in Europe, founded by Claudius Innocentius Du Paquier (died 1751). In 1744, Du Paquier sold the enterprise to the Austrian state and in 1784 Conrad von Sorgenthal became its director.
With Sorgenthal’s appointment, the factory underwent a decisive change. New styles and decorative techniques were introduced as the factory shook off the influence of the French manufactory Sèvres. This garniture is decorated in the style of Greek black-figure pottery, which was being excavated in Italy during the period. The popularity of ornamentation based on elements found in antiquity spread rapidly throughout Europe during the late eighteenth century. In England, Josiah Wedgwood made similar pieces using his black stoneware, of basalt, which he called Etruscan.