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…
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.
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)
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!
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…
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!
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!!
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.
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!