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Gin-For's Odditiques

(Ginny and Forrest Poston's Oddities and Antiques)

West German Pottery Page Four

Ruscha, Scheurich, Schlossberg, Silberdistel and Others

The East, West German pottery era was unlike anything seen before or since, switching from the literal explosions of World War II to the explosion of creativity compensating for decades of artistic repression and responding to anger and despair with color and whimsy. The politicians may try to tear us apart, but the artists bring us together and hold us together. Aesthetics heal almost as well as a cat's purr. Never let the politicians take it away. At Gin-For's Odditiques, we specialize in above average, harder to find East and West German pottery from companies such as Bay Keramik, Carstens, Ceramano, Dümler & Breiden, ES Keramik, Fohr, Gramann Römhild, Marzi & Remy, Otto Keramik, Ruscha, Scheurich, Silberdistel, Ü-Keramik and many others. We also try to have a clue what we're talking about. We can tell Carstens from Scheurich, and we know a hawk from a handsaw no matter which way the wind is blowing. If you love the large Blenko Glass items, consider W. German pottery floor vases as a ceramic complement to get compliments. (Cats and batteries not included.)

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Ruscha 313 vase, base photo, West German Pottery Ruscha 313, glaze detail Ruscha 313 Ruscha 313Ruscha: This is the second generation shape of the classic Ruscha 313 form, designed by Kurt Tschörner and introduced in 1954, one of the most successful pottery forms of the 20th century. This glaze probably dates more to the 1970s based on coloring and the lava detailing. The glaze is dusty rose and charcoal, looking like a matte version of a raku glaze (but it's not raku). Several designers in the mid-century liked doing incised lines that gave vases the look of a restored antiquity, but this glaze takes the idea a step farther by doing a similar pattern of lines in the raised volcanic glaze.

Size: Height is about 6".

Price: $95 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Condition: excellent with no damage and no repairs. Of course, all our sales are fully guaranteed.

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Ruscha Paris, mark photoRuscha Paris plate, back photoRuscha plate, Paris decor, detailRuscha plate with Paris decorRuscha: Ruscha was one of the top producers of the "engobe" style wall plates, and Hanns Welling was one of the top designers. The "Paris" design was and is one of the most popular designs, and it has an intriguing history that actually starts at Keto. Welling designed a "Paris" decor for Keto, but it's a very carefree design without the darker subtext in the Ruscha "Paris". However, Welling also designed "Monmartre" for Keto, and it's almost identical to the "Paris" he did for Ruscha. The 717 shape plates in the 7" range are fairly common. The 10" is harder to find, and the 13" significantly harder. There is also a 3" mini that typically only has the cat. Elements on the full size are the young woman, lampost, striped cat, starry sky, and buildings. Some versions include a young man. Engobe items have the matte black background, an incised outline, and then the enamel painting. While the basic pattern is given, artists were allowed some variation. That ends up being not only variation in design but sometimes in quality. Marks on the back often include the initials of the artist who did that plate, but no records have come to light to identify the various artists.

Size: Diameter is about 10".

Price: $105 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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Ruscha Marokko bowl, base photoRuscha Marokko bowl, mark photoRuscha Marokko bowl, detailRuscha bowl, Marokko decor Ruscha bowl with Marokko decorRuscha: This Ruscha shape 417 bowl clearly shows the strong influence on the W. German items of the 1950s. The form was designed by Kurt Tschörner, while the Marokko/Morocco decor was designed by Hanns Welling. It's from the engobe line that features a black background with incised designs and enamel decoration. Shape is 417. Date is circa 1956.

Price: $65 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: About 6" at the widest point and about 2 3/4" tall at the highest.

Condition: is very good. There is no structural damage, just a bit of flaking around the edge where the black/engobe flaked. All sales are fully guaranteed.

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Ruscha plate with Torero decor, mark photo, West German PotteryRuscha plate with Torero decor, detailRuscha plate with Torero designRuscha: Ruscha was one of the rulers of the wall plate kingdom in the 1950's, and Torero is one of their fairly hard to find classics. Very mid century in style, like much work from the 50's, it also pulls from Art Deco and Cubist styles to a degree, a real "Deco Echo" item with additional style echoes. Although there were patterns for these designs for artists to work from, each one is incised by hand, and the outcome can vary, sometimes by intent, sometimes not. Items are typically initialed by the artist, but most artists names remain unknown so far.

Price: $65 plus shipping/insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Diameter is about 8 1/2".

Condition: excellent with no damage and no repairs. Of course, all our sales are fully guaranteed.

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Sawa Klinker vase, base photoSawa floor vase, glaze detail Sawa klinker floor vaseSawa: This vase was probably made by Sawa Keramik and falls into the "klinker" category due to the high-fired red clay. The vase, like most Sawa, is hand made and features geometric sgraffito decoration with a black stain, very effective. Likely date is 1950s or early 60s. (A lot of new information is coming to light about "klinker" vases, including many more companies, so the attribution on this one is uncertain, but it's just as impressive no matter which company did the work.)

Price: $295 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Height is about 16".

Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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Scheurich vase 275, base photoScheurich vase shape 275, glaze detailScheurich vase 275Scheurich vase 275Scheurich: This is the later generation version of shape 275 (straighter top on the handle), and to my eye the best. Usually found in an 11" size, this is a harder to find, slightly smaller version at 8" with a very hard to find decor featuring a deep cobalt glaze with raised red "webbing". This one is probably from the 1970s.

Price: $95 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Height is about 8".

Condition: is excellent with no damage and no repairs. Of course, all our sales are fully guaranteed.

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Scheurich 275, bottom photoScheurich 275, detailScheurich 275Scheurich 275Scheurich: This is part of what makes collecting W. German pottery fun and tricky. In addition to looking for rare glazes on rare shapes, you can also find unusual combinations, odd glaze on a common shape or common glaze on an odd shape. This later version of shape 275 28 by Scheurich is certainly not hard to find. They're everywhere. This glaze, however, is uncommon and a bit weird, not a color combo you think of every day.

Price: $65 plus shipping and insurance.

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Size: Height is about 11" with widest total dimension about 4 1/2".

Condition: is very good, but there is a glaze miss on the rim, pictured farther down the page. All sales are fully guaranteed.

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Scheurich floor vase, base photoScheurich floor vase, detail photoScheurich floor vase, signature photoScheurich floor vaseScheurich floor vaseScheurich floor vaseScheurich: This West German pottery floor vase shape 239 is by Scheurich Keramik, and the hand painted landscape is a rather unusual decoration. It's not certain whether it was done at the factory, or if it was bought as a blank and then decorated, but I lean toward it being post-factory by a professional artist/decorator. It's artist signed, but the signature is unclear. This shape/size was introduced around 1959.

Dimensions: Height about 16 1/2".

Condition: is excellent with no damage and no repairs. All sales are fully guaranteed.

Price: $215 plus shipping and insurance.

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Scheurich 537, bottom photoScheurich Keramik vase 537 detailScheurich vase 537, West German potteryScheurich vase 537, West German pottery Scheurich: This Scheurich Keramik vase is an example of how W. German pottery can be subtle and striking, elegant and bold, classic and modern all at once. The form is fairly simple with soft curves and a quiet gray glaze with subtle variation in color and texture. However, in the middle we find a distinctive cross design within a bold red and slightly volcanic white, bubbling just at the edges. That's a lot going on for a simple vase. Shape number is 537.

Dimensions: Height is about 6 1/2".

Condition: very good, but there is a minor glaze flaw in the lower band....see detail photo. Of course, all sales are fully guaranteed.

Price: $65 plus shipping and insurance.

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Scheurich shape 484 photo, West German PotteryScheurich vase shape 484Kuch vase with volcanic glazeScheurich: Scheurich shape 484 is a simple but powerful ball shape and a perfect canvas for this stripe decor, despite the glare in my pictures. The form is part of the Ceramos series and creates a strong, large impression. With the red "heartstripe", this is similar to the Fabiola glaze, but that features dark brown rather than the mostly tan coloring seen here. The variety of items produced is one of the great joys....and great pains of West German Pottery. Estimated date is 1972.

Price: $95 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Height is about 8".

Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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Scheurich 529 vase, bottom photoScheurich shape 529, glaze detailScheurich 529, detail photoScheurich 529, detail photo Scheurich Keramik vase shape 529, West German potteryScheurich: Scheurich Keramik was better at glazes than forms, but 529 28 is a shape that works, strong if not really elegant. The broad base works as a pedestal, but the opposite of the more common pedestal base that's smaller than the body of the vase. Neither the form nor glaze are especially hard to find, but it's the combination that works so very well in this case. There is a matte or semi-matte black underglaze with the red and black glaze on top. The top glaze isn't distinctly textured, but there is enough variation in the thickness to see if you hold and turn the vase. The thickness is more distinct at the bottom of the red drips, not fat lava, only a tad overweight. The visual affect isn't strong, but it's there.

Price: $95 plus shipping and insurance.

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Size: Height is about 9 1/2" and diameter about 4 3/4".

Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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Scheurich 481, base photoScheurich 481, label photoScheurich 481, detail photoScheurich vase shape 481, West German pottery Scheurich vase shape 481, West German pottery Scheurich vase shape 481, West German pottery Scheurich: This Scheurich floor vase is a joy, mixing a semi-matte drip glaze similar to early 20th century work on the top and a definitive dark brown drip over a volcanic metallic copper glaze on the body. The form is not uncommon in smaller sizes and can be found moderately easily in this size with certain glazes. However, this size with this glaze is at the very least uncommon, and the glaze turned out quite well, which doesn't always happen with the metallic glazes. Shape number is 481 with a date circa 1974.

Price: $375 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Height is about 19 1/2". Width: about 6 1/4". Depth: about 4 1/4".

Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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Schlossberg vase, base photo Schlossberg ewer, glaze detailSchlossberg vaseScholossberg vase with crackle glazeSchlossberg: Several W. German companies made crackle glazes in the 1950s, including Ruscha, Silberdistel, and Karlsruhe. This example, however, is attributed to Schlossberg. Like the glaze, the pitcher form is typical of German work from the mid to late 1950s. It's a simple but elegant look. Shape number is 261.

Price: $65 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Height is about 8 1/4" with a maximum diameter of about 3 5/8".

Condition: excellent with no damage and no repairs. Of course, all our sales are fully guaranteed.

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Silberdistel vase, base photoSilberdistel vase, label photoSilberdistel, West German pottery vaseSilberdistel: This footed cylinder vase shows the elegant side of W. German pottery, no surprise from Silberdistel. Proportions make the vase quietly pleasing, and the low pedestal increases the effect, all covered with a two-toned blue-gray, lightly textured glaze. The vase has an impressed mark with the full West Germany and a company label, but I'm not entirely sure of the date of production. Late 1950s or very early 60s seems mostly likely based on the label and use of the full "West Germany". Production numbers were fairly low for most Silberdistel items, and the quality is consistently above average.

Price: $95 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Height is about 9".

Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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Silberdistel vase, bottom photoSilberdistel jug, label photoSilberdistel jug, West German potterySilberdistel vase with mug for perspectiveSilberdistel: Here's an example of how quietly powerful simplicity can be when the lines and proportions are right. This is shape 300 by Silberdistel, a jug form with none of the special exaggerations many people connect with W. German pottery, but this elegance is as much a part of the era as anything else. The crackle glaze is perfect for the form and places the work around 1958.

Price: $95 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Height is about 8".

Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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Silberdistel jug, base photoSilberdistel, glaze detailSilberdistel jugSilberdistel jugOtto Keramik: Many W. German pottery companies did jug forms, but Silberdistel did some of the best. While Silberdistel made one of the crustiest fat lava glazes, they also created some of the most subtle glazes of the period. This shape 306 would be attractive if the glaze were only this deep shade of blue, but it also has streaks of black that show to different degrees in different lighting.

Price: $125 plus shipping and insurance.

Shipping will depend on location. Contact us for a quote.

Size: Height is about 9".

Condition: excellent with no damage, no repairs...fully guaranteed.

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