West German Pottery Collection

Scheurich 414-16 Collection
Scheurich 414-16 Collection

A few years ago, my boyfriend and I took our first ever trip to Hebden Bridge together.  It’s a lovely place and I highly recommend going there. Anyway, we visited a retro shop, which is sadly no longer around, that had shelves upon shelves filled with West German pottery.  At the time, we had no idea what they were but thought the display looked fantastic and decided to keep an eye out for similar pots in the future.

Fast forward six years and we’ve got not just a collection, but a slight obsession…

Giant two-foot tall Scheurich in brown and yellow.
Giant two-foot tall Scheurich in brown and yellow.

The first pot we ever bought was from a charity shop and in the pressed style of the above pot, though the one we purchased was grey and considerably smaller!  That one has long since been relegated to the loft.  This yellow and brown one currently store our umbrellas behind the door in the living room. It is a beast! We found it at a car boot sale in Gorton, Manchester for £4; had to then carry it around Stockport for the day.

The orange and yellow collection in main bedroom windowsill
The orange and yellow collection in main bedroom windowsill

Starting on furthest left, clockwise: Possibly Roth, impressed with 1256-18; just seen with yellow top and white foamy glaze, Bay 66 20; small round and orange, unknown, white clay impressed with 0201012 underneath, possibly Austrian?; front, black and white glaze with yellow cuts, Scheurich, 523-18.

(All identifications made using Mark Hill – Fat Lava: West German Ceramics of the 1960s and 70s)

The 'brown' collection underneath the wooden stool in main bedroom
The 'brown' collection underneath the wooden stool in main bedroom

Clockwise starting with triangular shaped on far left:  Carstens complete with sticker, 7787-15; behind with bands of cream and brown, Carstens, 7224-20; cone-shaped with green inside, slightly pink glaze, unknown maker – possibly Schlossberg? White clay with mark 153 over 18 like a divide sign; large at back with ‘octopus suckerpads’, Carstens 7957-33; fat round cream one with brown swirls, Scheurich 284-19; very small brown at front, possibly Jasba – nearest to mark that I can see, partially obscured with glaze reads 32?1; small creamy one to front, Scheurich 425-10.

*Update!  Thanks to the fantastic Pottery and Glass forum (link sent to me by Funkyvintagelover via comments below) I’ve found out that the little brown one at the front is in fact by Ruscha, not Jasba. Excellent! And thanks very much Mark!

White Scheurich collection in main bedroom
White Scheurich collection in main bedroom

As already mentioned, this is the white Scheurich collection.  Initially consigned to the spare room, they were bumped up to main bedroom status once we found a couple and realised how nice they looked against the wooden floor.  From left to right: 482-28, 232-20, 260-23. All a bit dusty! Think it’s time to get a feather duster…

Big and bold!
Big and bold!

From left to right:  Black and Orange, Carstens complete with sticker, 7788-40; middle, brown with stripes, Scheurich 517-45; right, Dumler & Breiden marked ‘Relief 51-36 Germany’ with the large D&B logo. I might put up a separate picture of the orange one on the right as it is truly crazy!

Favourites from the 414 collection
Favourites from the 414 collection

These are my absolute favourites from the Scheurich 414 collection atop the wooden box in the main bedroom.  I love how different unusual the glazes are on these.  This collection began after we did a car boot sale in Chelford a few years ago.  Luckily for us, there was a stall there that was just selling West German pots for absolutely bargainous prices! We spent all of our takings and the rest of the cash we’d brought with us.  I found it first and bought so many pots the stall-owners elderly father had to help me carry them back to our car. My boyfriend thought I was mad! Then he made a visit and bought some more…  Since then, I’ve acquired a few more 414s, either through charity shops or as Christmas presents from my boyfriend. The dream is to get one of the giant versions. We did see one once in an antique shop in London, but it was £70!!

Our one and only Roth pot. Purchased from Ebay with A's hard-earned Ebay money!
Our one and only Roth pot. Purchased from Ebay with A's hard-earned Ebay money!
Blue and Green collection in living room
Blue and Green collection in living room

Clockwise from left: yellow inside, unknown maker, marked 569-21; large black and green at back, Schlossberg, 3003, white clay; blue and green on right, probably not German, poss. Italian; front, studio Bay complete with handwritten signature underneath ‘studio 71 17’ and original label.

Dumler & Breiden, purchased from Pop Boutique in Manchester
Dumler & Breiden, purchased from Pop Boutique in Manchester
Left: Carstens 222-20; Right: ES Keramik
Left: Carstens 222-20; Right: ES Keramik

Unknown, marked underneath 271 27
Scheurich 271-27

That’s a very quick(!) runthrough of the pots we currently have out on display.  There are quite a few more in the loft, including some beautiful plant pots, which tend to get rotated fairly often as the plants grow!  A also has a number of small cacti at work in a set of three plant pots… I’m sure his workmates love them as well.

For more wonderful West German pots try Outernational. There is also heaps more information on the different makers at Ginsforodditiques. I’m actually going to trawl there myself to try and identify my unknown pots.  Happy West German Pot hunting!

17 Comments Add yours

  1. The most popular were those of yellow, brown and green. Natalee Antique

  2. littleowlski says:

    Hi, thanks for your comment. Which pots are you referring to? I love getting any more info or opinions on west german pots – it’s virtually the only way, it seems, to find anything out about them!

  3. Dear Littleowlski.

    Just been trawling through the ever increasing info on WGP and came across your site. You have some lovely pots. Ironically I also used to shop at the Hebden bridge store and am also sad it is gone. I now live in Scotland and have been collecting WGP for about 15 years. As you can guess i used to have them all to myself and was allways thought quite mad. Are you aware of the new book by Kevin Graham in Germany. It is all in English and it is finally a proper collectors book with pages of company details, designers, labels, clay types etc.

    Also are you aware of the http://potteryandglass.forumandco.com/ it is without doubt the best resource for getting up to date info and IDs on the web. Kevin is also one of the moderators.

    Hope this helps and good luck collecting.

    Regards
    Mark (Funkyvintagelover)

  4. littleowlski says:

    Thanks so much for the tip off about the site and Kevin Graham; I shall definitely be making a visit soon. It’s such a shame that the Hebden Bridge shop closed down – I can’t remember what it was called for the life of me!

    I love collecting these pots as they’re just so different from items available commercially. And they always start a conversation when anybody new visits!

    Do you post up pictures of your pots anywhere? I’d love to have a look if you do.

    Thanks,

    Emma

  5. Dear Emma.

    Sorry I can’t remember what it was called either but I was born in Halifax so used to visit Hebden often to while away a few hours away in the local pubs. I assume you are local to Hebden also?

    Sadly as I have spent the last 6 or 7 years building my house and setting up the holiday rental I have not had time to do anything with my collection. They are all just stored safely away, many of which I have not seen for years. I do not know how many I have but the total now past 1500. I will hopefully someday get round to staging an exhibition in Scotland.

    When I 1st used to pick them up people would openly say how absolutely awful they were. After spending a long time procrastinating, one day I just made a decision to buy every piece I came across and have been doing so ever since. I used to come away from car boots with 20 pieces and still have change from a £20 note. Oh those lovely days!

    I am desperate to finally catalogue what I have and try to hone the collection as I learn more. If you go to the forum as mentioned in my last post you will find lists of WGP companies and attributed photos of their pots. The forums intent is to build up a database of information and photos and also help with identifying unknown examples. When I get time I will upload my entire collection but this may take more than a few hours. 🙂

    Let me know how you get on when you have a look. Also I assume you are aware of http://www.pips-trip.co.uk & http://www.ginforsodditiques.com both of which are great places to learn and see attributed examples.

    Good luck and keep in touch.

    Mark

    1. littleowlski says:

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you once again for the link to that amazing forum! I have managed to identify one of the pots we weren’t sure of using it, so this has been updated in the post and you have a mention. The forum is fantastic; I can already envisage that I will be spending many a happy hour trawling through the photos. I already use the other two sites you mentioned; the ginsforsodditiques one is also extremely useful for identifying pots. I can only dream of having a collection of 1500 pots to upload. But, as you mention, once you get into those kinds of numbers, it’s difficult to keep track of them all.

      I live in Glossop, so not too far away from Hebden Bridge. We’ve spent many a happy afternoon wandering round there. I think it could well be a Mecca for fans of the vintage and retro lifestyle!

      Thanks,

      Emma

  6. Dear Emma

    What actually happened was that at the end of the summer of love in 1967 after everyone had finished their lovin, they all went to Hebden and just never left! I love the place and allways vist when i visit my old home.

    Glad the link helped, and thanks you for the mention in your post. I will keep an eye on everything else you are doing.

    Regards
    Mark

  7. Stuart says:

    Hi Emma,

    You look to have some nice items. I particularly like the D & B vase you bought in Manchester. I am relatively new to West German Pottery, but have quickly built up a collection in a short time. I have a stall at Bygone Times, near to Chorley where I sell art glass and WGP. I guess I have several hundred items up for sale at any one time. I have found the pottery and glass forum invaluable and the people who use it so very nice and helpful. Someone will always help with identification. I also have the first two books by Kevin Graham and they are tremendous. So happy collecting – maybe I’ll see you at Bygone Times some day.

    Take care,
    Stuart

    1. littleowlski says:

      Hi Stuart,

      The great thing about West German pottery is that you can get a collection going relatively quickly and cheaply. Obviously, prices have gone up massively in recent times (thanks Antiques Roadshow!) but you can still find bits and bobs about for reasonable prices. Thanks very much for your comments. Can I ask where you got your Kevin Graham books from as I’d like to get them myself. I think we’ll definitely be planning a trip to your stall in the future!
      Kind regards,
      Emma

  8. Stuart says:

    Hi again Emma,

    You can contact Kevin or his wife directly on the pottery and glass forum – I think you are a member?? Just send a private message to either Madbrit (Kevin) or Eddie (his wife, Esther). The books have a Euro price so you will have to set up some kind of transfer, but they will fill you in on all that. There were 250 signed hardbacks and the rest, I belive, are paperback.
    I would love to see you at Bygone Times – I am there every other Tuesday, and will be there this next week. Just let me know when you are coming though and I will do my best to be there.

    Take care,
    Stuart

    1. littleowlski says:

      Hi Stuart,

      Hope you’re looking forward to the holidays! What with Christmas coming up, my boyfriend and I will actually have some days off together where we can come and visit your shop. We were wondering if you were in/open next Tuesday? We’re thinking of taking a bit of a day trip up to Bygone Times and the surrounding area. Please do let me know if you’re in as we’d love to come and say hello and have a look at your pots!

      Thanks,
      Emma

  9. We’re based in Todmorden, a few miles from Hebden Bridge. I think the shop everyone’s referring to is “Off the Rails” that was originally in Todmorden but later moved to Hebden.

    Since the shop closure in Hebden, the owners currently have a pitch in Picture House Antiques – http://www.picturehouseantiques.co.uk – back in Todmorden.

    | also recommend the Pottery & Glass Forum – http://potteryandglass.forumandco.com – where Kevin & the other members are extremely knowledgable about West German pottery.

    1. littleowlski says:

      Thanks for the reference to the Hebden Bridge shop, I’ll go and have a look at their website now. We’ve probably seen them in their new home in Todmorden and not realised!

  10. Stuart says:

    Hello Emma,

    I will be at Bygone Times on Tuesday next, hopefully re-stocking a little. Not sure waht time I will arrive as yet, but it’s usually betwwwn 11am and 12 noon. It all depends on guest arrivals and departures (we run a guest house in Kendal). If you like, please let me have your mobile number (but not on this open site). Please e-mail me through the contact form on our website (www.lyndhurst-kendal.co.uk) or send me a pm on the pottery and glass forum, and I will send you mine, just in case we miss each other. Looking forward to seeing you on the 29th. Oh, and by the way, did you see the photo of my stall at Bygone Times on Mark Hill’s blogspot??

    Take care,
    Stuart

  11. Agape Hometown Thrift says:

    I manage a small charity thrift shop outside of St Louis Mo and had a pot come in that is marked WGermany and 984-19. It is a simple pot that it appears someone spray painted a solid tan color. Any suggestion as to how I could remove the paint without damaging the pot’s finish? The other question I have is would the value of the pot, once clean, be worth trying to remove the paint on it?

    I would appreciate any help your forum could offer and would be willing to send a photo.

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