Unfortunately, when research and documentation first began in West German pottery, it wasn’t always done with stringent documentation. There were assumptions that became accepted as gospel, and now that more documentation is being done along with more conversation, better exchange of information, it’s sometimes an uphill battle to not simply prove an item was made by a particular company but to prove that it wasn’t made by the company everyone believed. Such is the case with the Jopeko to Stein shift.
Until early 2016, Stein was a very little known company, and even those of us who knew it existed thought the company had produced a small amount of pleasant but uninspired pottery. Then, some people started pointing out that certain forms attributed to Jopeko had never been found with a company mark or label. In particular, Günther Heinrich Wulf and Guido Van den Heule started digging, pushing, and exchanging pictures on Facebook. The result was that while none of these forms turned up confirmed as Jopeko, some shapes were found with a Stein mark.
Now, Stein is one of the big players with some very impressive glazes. Jopeko remains a major company with great forms and glazes, but a few of their best are suddenly on a new team. In particular, shape numbers 6, 7, 9, 11, 40, 42, 44, 47, 50, 56, 70, 80, and 92 are Stein.
It will likely be another year or two before the proper attributions start showing up around the internet, but it’s always more important to buy the item, not the name. The aesthetics don’t change when the attribution does, but it still comes under the heading of keeping an open mind and checking your resources. We’ve made huge strides in learning which company made what, but there is a lot more to learn in what is certainly the widest, deepest, most varied pottery period in history.
If you got here without visiting the main site, you can get there by clicking here: ginforsodditiques.com. You’ll find more information plus items for sale……not just the usual suspects.
Photos of shape 9/20 and the base courtesy of Günther Heinrich Wulf. Much appreciated.