Rosenthal was founded in 1879 as a family business. The company founder, Phillipp Rosenthal moved his factory and porcelain painting workshop from North Rheinland to the industrialized castle Erkersreuth In 1897, Philipp Rosenthal founded the company Bauer, Rosenthal & Co. In 1908, Rosenthal bought the Porcelain manufacturer Thomas in as well as the porcelain company Zeidler & Co. in 1917.
In the period of German nationalism, Philipp Rosenthal, while Catholic, had to withdraw from the enterprise in 1934 because of his Jewish origin. The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board turned against Rosenthal and implemented various measures to prevent Philipp Rosenthal from using his voting shares in order to change the composition of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board. The government was asked for support and sold the voting shares to persons who were not well-disposed towards Rosenthal. However, the Nazi regime did not go directly against Philipp Rosenthal in order not to jeopardize the foreign business of the company. The covertly concealed Aryans took advantage of the family, and urged Rosenthal's successor to step out of the company. Philipp Rosenthal's death in 1937 finally paved the way for his grandchildren. In 1936, Rosenthal bought the porcelain manufacturers Waldershof and Thomas and Rosenthal Isolatoren GmbH (RIG) was established in 1939 with branches near Berlin. In 1939 the company changed to Rosenthal Porzellan AG. When the Decree on Companies of Deprived Commercial Enterprises (RGBI 1941, p. 177), adopted on March 27, 1941, forced the discontinuation of the Jewish company and brand name Rosenthal, the "Aryan" management intervened through Joseph Goebbels to not continue the use of the Rosenthal brand name.
With the return of Philipp Rosenthal's son Philip Rosenthal from exile and his entry into the enterprise in 1950, he won a pioneering role in the modern product design. In 1960, the Rosenthal Studiohaus was opened in Nuremburg, from which the world's first design chain was built. In 1965 the uniform name Rosenthal Glas & Porzellan AG was elected and shortened to Rosenthal AG in 1969. In 1972, Philip Rosenthal founded the furniture factory Rosenthal Einrichtung in Espelkamp. The furniture factory was renamed in 2009 Philip Möbelmanufaktur GmbH and in 2013 rebranded the Fröscher GmbH & CO. KG. Rosenthal, In collaboration with industrial designers such as Raymond Loewy, Tapio Wirkkala, Timo Sarpeneva, Verner Panton and Walter Gropius all designed an impressive array of pieces. In 1997, Rosenthal AG was 90% owned by the British-Irish Waterford Wedgwood Group. Rosenthal was the market leader for high-quality porcelain and glassware in Germany and was the world market leader in conjunction with Waterford Wedgwood. In the year 2000, the company took over the Hutschenreutherrand brand and factory Selb. At this time, around 1,100 employees were employed worldwide. The company, faced with insolvency by the subsequent collapse of Waterford Wedgwood, filed for insolvency on 9 January 2009. In July 2009 the sale was announced to the Italian household producer Sambonet Paderno. Founded on 1 August 2009, Rosenthal GmbH is an independent company of the Sambonet-Paderno Group. The Rosenthal company headquarters remain in Selb under the managing director Pierluigi Coppo.