Dating mettlach pottery germany
The other painted marks identify the decorator of this handpainted student stein. These steins are frequently marked on the base or on the rear of the body to identify the decorative firm. He speculates that average production could have exceeded examples, noting that the most common items certainly had far more, while some had far less. The two lines also used different background colors, with the cameo items using a sea-green or dark blue unglazed background which heightens the translucent feel of the decoration. It is generally thought that these numbers identified the person or position in the factory where certain hand operations were performed during decorating.
Many of the faience and Delft steins also came with these lids, and some of the faience steins included a pewter footring. This code originally indicated the relative size of the piece among all of those sharing the same form number, with Roman numeral I indicating the largest. Two common variants are shown to the left.
Special Orders Mettlach produced many steins to special order, for both domestic purposes and for export. Well-known examples of special orders include an etched stein for St. While the above figures illustrate the most common marks for Mettlach wares, other marks were used.
Molded relief pieces were formed by pressing the white clay into recesses in the form before the colored clay was added for the body. Comprising a very small fraction of the total stein production of Mettlach, these early pieces are largely ignored by today's collectors. While bearing many similarities to etched steins, they do evidence some of the characteristics of relief, and are generally more complex in their style. In the rare case that there is no form number, you must rely on other characteristics and knowledge of Mettlach wares, and the task becomes both more difficult and less certain. The secret of its manufacture was kept well inside the company walls so that no competitor was in the position to produce anything like it.
Relief At about this same time Mettlach began to introduce relief steins using either applied or molded relief decoration. While many others were used, the marks examined in this article will cover the majority of the marks you are likely to encounter, unless you have an extensive and advanced collection of Mettlach.
As can be seen by now the Boch family was always interested in new ideas and during a new type of earthenware was developed at the Boch factory in Mettlach. Highly specialized factories proved extremely promising and around the main focus of the Mettlach factory was the production of washing vessels which were used by people from all walks of life. While the abbey trademark is slightly different, it is easily recognizable and should not be confused with the marks of any other factory. This trademark, among other marks, was pressed by hand into the bottom of the piece.
Moreover, the trademarks employed on the base of their wares prominently feature the name Mettlach. Even so, it is quite easy for a collector who is familiar with the marks and forms to identify this stein as being produced by Mettlach. Augustine, Florida, which includes a figural alligator handle, three steins produced for Cornell University, and the Quilmes Brewery Argentina stein.
The decoration number and trademark are combined in a placard-style transfer, either black or brown in color. This is one of numerous words and phrases which you many encounter on Mettlach wares. These steins were simpler in their body shapes and overall decorative techniques, making them compliant with emerging trends of the Jugendstil period, while simultaneously making them less expensive. The relief coloration was set by the color of the clay.
In addition to normal breakage over time, huge quantities of these examples of German culture were intentionally destroyed by conquering forces after each of the two World Wars. Although there are a wide variety of hand-painted themes, the most common examples are probably steins decorated with student crests or wappen. These two elements of a single mark were actually applied separately, and as a result, it is common to find examples where they are not aligned exactly as in our example. Demand was so great that the Mettlach factory actually became the first European factory specialised in tile manufacture alone.
What started off as a small venture became one of the largest and most advanced multi-layer manufacturers worldwide, producing many different items right up to the literal kitchen sink. In fact, many steins bearing German phrases or verses can also be found in an English-language version. The decoration was typically light in color against a darker color on the body, frequently blue or terra cotta shown to the right with a greenish-gray background. The use of transfer decoration meant that a unique mold was no longer required. While we might be tempted to speculate that the majority of this production remains in Germany, this is a very shaky conclusion.
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