Søholm or Søholm Stentøj (Soholm Stoneware) dates back to the first half of the 17th century and the Danish island, Bornholm, which is famous for its pottery and fine ceramics. Søholm was founded in 1835, in Rønne, Bornholm by Herman Sonne Wolffsen (1811-1887) and Edvard Christian Sonne, making it one of the oldest ceramic factories on Bornholm, until its closure in 1996.
The name, Søholm, originated from the factory where the two founders formerly were employed, a faience factory near Copenhagen, in 1828-1839 (leased in 1834).
By 1841, Herman Sonne Wolffsen took over solo. In the beginning, Soholm mainly designed and manufactured yellow domestic fajance ware. After Herman Sonne Wolffsen’s death in 1887, Hans Ancher Wolffsen took over Søholm. Together with his brother, he ran the factory into the first decade of the 20th century, with designs inspired by the Art Nouveau style floating through Europe at that time.
In 1908, ceramic artist Carl Møller took over daily management of the factory and four years later, he bought Søholm Stentøj. In 1919, right after WW1 and the difficulties following the war, he had to sell the factory to a wholesaler from Copenhagen, but stayed on manager.
To secure jobs within the local district, the municipality of Rønne bought Søholm in 1928, as it employed 40 people at that time. To avoid unfair competition, a business partnership took over the factory in 1933, and the factory was renovated and modernized. Six years later in 1939, the Union of Ceramics workers bought Søholm. During WW2, the number of employees grew at Søholm, as the Union referred unemployed to Søholm. Thus many avoided being sent off to Germany. By 1945 Søholm employed 200 people.
In the 1930s to 1940s, Søholm produced dinnerware, utility items and pipes. Especially the pipes were a huge success at Søholm, produced during WW2, but unfortunately the factory was boomed in 1945. The pipes are today very rare and highly sought after by collectors.
In the mid-20th century, Søholm produced a huge range of stoneware with different designs and shapes. One of the more famous stoneware series today, is the Burgundia Series – an exquisite series of stoneware with black matte glaze and graphical patterns decoration in pastel colors (white, light blue and light yellow). The shapes were designed by Holm Sørensen, while the decorations were designed by Svend Aage Jensen. The series was produced in the 1950s to the late 1960s.
In the same period, the Danish ceramic artist, Einar Johansen was employed at Søholm. He designed and created a wide range of stoneware, where his “blue series” is highly sought after today among collectors.
Søholm had financial problems in the late 1970s to early 1980s, but avoided closure. However in 1996, the factory closed.
A variety of different ceramic artists worked at Soholm, including: Noomi Backhausen (worked at Søholm 1966-1996), Maria Phillippi, Einar Johansen (worked at Soholm 1958-1966), Nana Ditzel and Haico Nitzsche.
Søholm did not use backstamps or hallmarks in the early production. Some items from 1887-1908, were marked H. Wolffsen & Son. In the period 1910-1930, the stamp was a crown and a ship, however, most items were only marked Søholm. From the mid-20th century, many pieces were hand-signed with Søholm, Stentøj, Denmark, or simply just Søholm.