RARE SCHLOSSBERG KERAMIK 'BUMBLE BEE' VASE Nr, 286/20
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A double handled Schlossberg Keramik vase with a rare black and yellow decor of irregular horizontal stripes. The black is a rough volcanic pumice texture against the contrasting smooth and glossy yellow. The decor name is as yet unknown, so we just call it the Bumble Bee.
SCHLOSSBERG KERAMIK was established as a workshop in 1946 by Ilse and Theodore Stefan in the village of Volmarstein, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its name was derived from its situation at the foot of the schloßberg—the castle-hill—of the ruined castle Volmarstein (destroyed by fire in 1754). Initially the Stefans produced hand-turned, hand-painted faience exclusively. Their output met with positive receptions at trade fairs in Frankfurt and Hanover. Company growth and the factory's gradual conversion for the manufacture of serial products twice necessitated expansion of the buildings. When it finally become impossible to scale up further in Volmarstein, SCHLOSSBERG moved south to a newly built building in the village of Langenaubach in Hesse in 1954.
That same year Liesel Spornhauer, previously of Dümler & Breiden, became the firm's first in-house designer. She remained with the company through the decade and was responsible for most of the successful designs from the period. Though SCHLOSSBERG would remain a relatively minor player in the field of German art pottery, it managed to produce a disproportionate number of entirely first-rate designs, particularly under Spornhauer's direction. When she left in 1959, co-founder Ilse Stephan assumed the position of head designer. In the mid-sixties, like most other makers of the time, SCHLOSSBERG emphasized the production of the popular "fat lava" décors. The talented Hans Welling, renowned for the game-changing designs that he introduced while working for Ruscha and Ceramano, would leave his mark at SCHLOSSBERG as a freelancer. Unfortunately, the business was not able to sustain the successes of the 1950s and '60s, and it closed its doors in 1975.
White clay was used exclusively in the manufacture of SCHLOSSBERG's products. Some pieces were inscribed with the intertwined letters, "T" and "S," probably representing co-founder Theodore Stephan's initials. Many items had only form and size numbers engraved or molded on the base, separated by a slash mark or stacked one atop the other. Usually a distinctive typeface was employed, which can be an aid in identifying the company's pottery. Some pieces are entirely unmarked.
|Design Period||1960 to 1969|
|Production Period||1960 to 1969|
|Country of Manufacture||Germany|
|Identifying Marks||This piece has been attributed based on archival documentation, such as vintage catalogs, designer records, or other literature sources|
|Style||Vintage, Mid-Century, Modernist, Space Age|
|Detailed Condition||Excellent — This vintage piece is in near original condition. It may show minimal traces of use and/or have slight restorations.|