When the Moors came to Spain in the 8th century they brought their art of pottery making with them. By the 13th or 14th century the art had reached its zenith. After the first 1/3 of the 14th century the tin oxide glaze that we are familiar with was in common use. Prior to that the pieces were covered with a white clay slip. The Spanish were exporting large amounts of this pottery, from the island of Majorca, to the rich cities of Italy, where it was known as "Maiolica." A number of these rich city states decided to take over the trade in this pottery and make themselves richer by doing so.
The first northern faience factories were in the Netherlands. However, from the beginning of the 16th century Spain controlled the Netherlands, and after the 30 Year War, the potters, who for the most part were of the Protestant religion, were driven out. Consequently, they were received with open arms by the rulers in northwestern Germany who were of the same religion. The first faience factory in Germany was opened in Hanau in 1661, and was soon followed by a factory in Heusenstamm in 1662. For whatever reason the Heusenstamm factory was closed in 1666 and moved to Frankfurt a. Main, a distance of 10 kilometers, where it remained in operation until 1772.
Faience, see Figure 1, became popular in Europe as an affordable substitute for porcelain which had been imported from China since the 12th century, but could be acquired only by the very rich. Finally, in 1709, porcelain was produced in Europe for the first time, see Figure 2, and although it took years to collapse,
Faience is simply a glazed earthenware pottery. Unlike stoneware, which is vitrified and requires no glaze, faience is porous and requires a glaze to keep liquids from seeping through. Clay, sand and lime are mixed in the proper proportions and water is added to produce a slurry which is then sieved to remove impurities.
Like stoneware, faience objects can be produced one of two ways, on a wheel, or in a mold. For those objects produced in plaster molds the slurry could be used as mixed. However, if the object was to be thrown on a wheel, the slurry was poured into "backs," or holding tanks until enough water had evaporated to thicken the clay. It was then kneaded until it was the proper consistency for the wheel. Once made, either on the wheel, or in the mold, the objects, in our case steins, were set aside to dry before the handles were attached.
The objects are now given a first firing to drive out all the remaining water. This was done at 600-800 degrees centigrade making them ready for glazing.
The glaze, a mixture of tin oxide, ground glass, and a flux, were mixed to the correct proportions and mixed with water. The objects were then dipped into the glaze, or in the case of large pieces the glaze was poured over them. At this point the high temperature colors such as cobalt blue, manganese violet, yellow, green, iron red and black could be painted directly on the unfired glaze.
The pieces could also be cold painted with gold and colored varnishes as was done at Ansbach, Crailsheim and Schrezheim to save time and labor. This type of decoration was not very durable and quickly showed signs of wear. (See Figure 3.)
The following is a list of faience factories that includes the date of operation, and if known, founders, operators, factory artists, their marks, and additional unattributed marks. Several names keep appearing over and over on this list as both artists and owners. Three names that stand out, are those of Johann Kaspar Rib, Joseph Philipp Dannhoeffer and Adam Friedrich von Loewenfinck. Johann Kaspar Rib was associated with the following factories: Ansbach 1710-1712, Nuremberg 1712-1713, Bayreuth 1714-1717, Braunschweig 1717-1721 and Zerbst in 1723. Joseph Philipp Dannhoefer worked at Bayreuth 1737-1744, Abtsbessingen 1744-1747, Hoecht 1747-1751 and Fulda 1751-1758. Adam Friedrich von Loewenfinck was recorded as an artist at only two factories, Fulda 1741-1744 and Hoecht 1746-1749, but his widow managed the Ludwigsburg factory 1777-1795. I have also included a number of "Hausmalers," or studio painters where appropriate and have identified them with (HM) after their names. The studio painters painted objects on commission, at home. They purchased the blank plate, or stein, or whatever and decorated it to specifications. Usually, painting faience objects was a second or third occupation for these people. It was not their sole means of income. Bartolomaeus Seuter was a silk dyer and a copper engraver. Abraham Helmhack was a glass painter and a copper engraver. Johann Ludwig Faber and Johann Schaper were glass painters and Wolfgang Roessler was a goldsmith and copper engraver. In listing the marks a number have a slash in them (/). This represents an horizontal line, so that part of the mark that precedes the slash is above it, and the part that follows is below it.
Founded by Prince August I. von Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen
Artists: 1744-1747 Joseph Philipp Dannhoeffer
Some marks: "K" in purple
Amberg 1759- 1910
Founded by Simon Herzendorfer Burgermeister of Amberg, changed hands many times over the years. In 1923-24 the factory was rebuilt but produced only stoneware under name of WESEL.
Some marks: AMB, Amberg
Founded by Margrave Friedrich Willhelm von Ansbach
Artists: 1715-1785 Johann Georg Christoph Popp also owner
Some other marks:"WM" in red, "A", "ANSP:", "f.", "AB/1774" in blue.
Artists: 1715-1720 Bartolomaeus Seuter (HM)
A large number of Bayreuth pieces are well marked and usually included the factory and owner’s initials and sometimes the artist’s initial as well. The "B" in the mark obviously stands for Bayreuth. The second initial stands for the owner: "B.K."= Johann Georg Knoeller 1714-1744, "B.F.S."= Adolf Fraenkel and Johann Veit Schreck 1745-1747, "B.P.F."= Johann Georg Pfiffer and Fraenkel’s widow 1747-1760, "B.P."= Georg Pfiffer 1761-1767 and Pfiffer’s heirs 1767-1788.
Artists: 1714-1717 Johann Kaspar Rib
Some marks: "B.K./C." = "Bayreuth. Knoeller./Clarner.", "O" in black, "W", "WT", "IVF", "OS:"
Founded and operated by the Grand Elector Friedrich Wilhelm 1678-1688, owned by Gerhard Molin and the Duke’s widow 1688-1697, Gerhard Wolbeer 1697-1721, Wolbeer’s son 1721-1754. A second factory was operated by Cornelius Funke 1699-1733 and by his widow and heirs 1733-1747.
Some marks: cursive "F", "RL/", cursive "T".
Founded by Duke Anton Ulrich and operated by him 1707-1710, leased by H. Chr. von Horn and W.J.G. von Hantelman 1710-1712 their mark was "VH", H.F. von Horn 1712-1731 and by his widow until 1745.
Artists: 1717-1721 Johann Kaspar Rib
Some marks: "R" in blue, "VH/F", "VH"
Crailsheim 1720-1827 (?)
Founded by Georg Veit Weiss 1720-1769, operated by his son Johann Georg Weiss 1769-1800 and then by his grandson J.G. Weiss 1800-1827 (?)
Some marks: "CRAILS/HEIM/W", "CREILSH.", "CRAILSHEIM/K", "S."
Founded by the Princess Auguste Dorothee von Schwarzburg
Artists: 1733-1758 Johann Martin Meiselbach
Some marks: "MB", "D", "cursive "F" in blue, "AL./" in green, "A" in blue, "TO"/ in green.
Founded with the help of Johann Friedrich Boettger, 1712-1767 the factory was leased by Peter Eggebrecht and his heirs.
The factory was operated from 1723-1726 by Johann Heinrich Wachenfeld, 1726-1734 by Wachenfeld’s widow, 1749-1812 by Georg Adam Herzog and Johann Adam Benckieser.
Artists: 1751-1803 Georg Balthasar Fichtmeier
The first, short lived attempt at a factory was in 1716. The equipment was then leased from 1724-1792 by Johann Paul Stieglitz and his heirs.
Artists: 1730-1751 Johann Jacob Wunderlich
Some other marks: "G" in blue, "F" in purple or red, "LB", "HR" in blue, "13" in yellow, "H", "GW/", "E", "S./", "V", "A" in purple
From 1766-1774 the factory was managed by Kaspar Dreste. Between 1774 and 1806 the factory passed back and fourth between owner and lessor. After 1787 it became a steingut factory.
Some marks: "FFF" in black, "C" in purple
Frankfurt a. Main 1666-1772
The factory was founded in 1666 by Johann Simonet. From 1666-1693 it was owned by the merchant Johann Christoph Fehr and from 1693-1721 by Fehr’s widow and his sons. 1721-1722 Anna Salome von Lersner. 1722-1733 District Magistrate Hasslocher and his wife. 1733-1736 Hasslocher’s heirs and Anna Salome von Lersner. 1736-1740 J.W. Deininger and J.F. Sauersenff. 1740-1772 Johann Georg Heckel and sons.
Artists: 1680-1690 Johann Wereshofer (HM)
Some other marks: "F" in purple, "B" in blue, "14" in purple, "P" in blue, "FURTH/1718"
Founded on a whim by Joseph Hackhls after the Goeggingen factory moved.
Artists: 1754-1768 Joseph Hackhls
Other marks: "CB"
Founded by Adam Friedrich von Loewenfinck and his brother Carl Heinrich, but owned by Prince Bishop Amandus von Buseck.
Artists: 1741-1744 Adam Friedrich von Loewenfinck
Other marks: "FULD.", "FD/BS" probably Schmidt, "FD/M"
Founded by Georg Michael Hofmann and Joseph Hackhl.
Some marks: "Goggingen", "HS"
1661-1679 operated by Daniel Behaghel and Jacobus van der Walle. 1679-1688 Behaghel, Walle and Johann Bally. 1688-1693 the foregoing and Anna Bally. 1694-1726 the heirs of Walle and Behaghel. 1727-1740 Henrich Simons von Alphen. 1740-1775 Hieronymus von Alphen.
Some marks: "JS" Jacob Schilles or Jacob Schuetz, "M", "9", "4", "HANAU" in gray, "HV", "HA", "HB", "HANNAU/VA"
Founded and operated 1732-1775 by Carl Friedrich von Hanstein and after him his son 1775-1797.
Some marks: "S" in purple, "ccc/", "cccM", "ccc/E"
1746-1749 established and operated in the shop of Johann Christoph Goeltz, Johann Felician Clarus and Adam Friedrich von Loewenfinck. 1749-1756 Johann Christoph and his sons.
Artists: 1746-1751 Georg Friedrich Hess
Other marks: "VZ", "XZ", "JZ"/wheel, crowned wheel, wheel/"F"
Founded by Count Karl von Hessen-Kassel. Leased from 1694-1699 by Esaias de Lattre. There were various owners, mostly Dutchmen until 1724. 1724-1740 Johann Christoph Gilze and his son. 1740-1776 Chamberlain Waitz.
Some marks: "HL", "W"
Owned by the government of the Grand Duke until 1766 and was managed by Johann Samuel Tannich from 1763-1769.
Some marks: "KB/L", "KIEL/", "T/L"
Owned by Jacob von Kuener
Artists: 1745-1748 Johann Georg Conradi
Some marks: "KB/", "A" in red, "G" in blue
Founded by the Duke Karl Eugen von Wurttemberg. In 1763 it merged with the factory of Johann Jacob Mergenthaler and Anton Joachim. From 1777-1795 it was managed by the widow of Adam Friedrick von Loewenfincks.
Some marks: "C", "O/J"
Owned by Johann Philipp Guichard and a town hall syndicate.
Some marks: "M" in blue-green, green or purple
1772-1774 under the directorship of Prince Carl Theodor. 1774-1779 owner by Johann Samuel Tannich. He continued as Director until 1782. 1782-1787 Johann Gotfried List & Co. 1787-1828 Johann Martin Roemer & Co.
Some marks: "crown/MB", "CP", "TC", "CF"
Founded by Christoph Marx, Gottfried Hemmon and Conrad Romedi as well as Kaspar Rib.
Artists: 1660-1670 Johann Schaper (HM)
Other marks: "I", "NB/K:"
Operated by Philipp Friedrich Lay 1739-1762 and then by his son until 1765. 1765-1775 Chr. Puchel was the charter holder. 1775-1779 Johann Klepper.
Some marks: "3" in green
Founded in Oettingen in 1737 and later transferred to Schrattenhofen. Owned by Prince Albrecht Ernst von Oettingen and managed by J.G. Conradi. 1757-1830 the factory in Schrattenhofen owned by Albrecht Koehler and his descendants.
Some marks: "OTTINGEN/R"
Some marks: An anchor
Some marks: "POTS.DAM", "P", "P/R"
Founded by Count Leopold von Proskau. 1769-1783 operated by Prince Carl Maximilian von Dietrichstein. From 1783- 1793 it was leased by Johann Gottlieb Leopold.
Some marks: "D.P.", "P:", "H.V./X"
Owned by the Apothecary Carl Christian Fick of Stralsund
Some marks: "R/F"
Some marks: "RL" in purple = RHEINSBERG LUEDICKE
Some marks: "R/C", "R/F"
Some marks: "S/CB", "S/H", "S/R", "S/R/B"
Owned and operated by Johann Baptist Bux 1752-1800. From 1800-1816 by Alois Bux, Anton Wintergerst and Anton Pfister. 1816-1833 owned by the widow of A. Wintergerst and later by their son.
Some marks: "JB", "K", "B", "f.", "C" in purple, "W" in purple, "L" in black, "2B", "5M"
Owned by Joachim Ulrich Giese 1755-1766. 1766-1770 leased to J. Eberhard Ludwig Ehrenreich. 1772-1780 owned and operated once again by J.U. Giese.
Some marks: "B" in purple
From 1757 it was owned by Prince Carl Theodor von der Pfalz
Some marks: "SULLZBACH", "CT"
Some marks: "WD", "JW."
Some marks: "WR", "WR/S"
1721 owned by Prince Johann August von Anhalt-Zerbst. Refounded in 1723 by Kaspar Rib and then once again about 1740 by Daniel von Kayck. After 1761 it was operated by Master Peter Fertch.
Artists: c.1770 Johann Christoph Andreas Langendorf
Other marks: "Z/M"