1950s LIESEL SPORNHAUER 'HAIGER' FISH-MOUTH VASE 101/21 FOR SCHLOSSBERG
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This handsome, SCHLOSSBERG KERAMIK fish-mouth vase sports Liesel Spornhauer's 'Haiger' décor—one of her last designs for Schlossberg before she left in 1959. 'Haiger' went into production in 1960, and joins her other '50s-era black and white designs including 'Roulette' and 'Lotus.' Haiger is a small country town 3 km away from the village of Langenaubach, to which SCHLOSSBERG relocated in 1954.
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 received 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. Although SCHLOSSBERG would always remain a relatively minor player in the field of German art pottery, it produced a disproportionate number of entirely first-rate designs, particularly under Spornhauer's tenure. 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. Ilse would step aside for the famous Hanns Welling to take the helm during his brief stint with the firm. Renowned for the game-changing designs he introduced at Ruscha and Ceramano, Welling would leave his mark on the work being produced by SCHLOSSBERG. 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 completely unmarked.
Design Period – 1950-1959
Country of Origin – WEST GERMANY
Designer – LIESEL SPORNHAUER
Maker – SCHLOSSBERG KERAMIK
Attribution – MARKED
Materials – CERAMIC
Colors – BLACK, WHITE
Condition – VERY GOOD (no defects; may show slight traces of use)
Height (cm) – 21.0
Width (cm) – 13.0
Depth (cm) – 12.0