The Rastal Collection of
A concise guide to the Rastal Collection, its epochs and its trends in
This content of this article is taken
from a pamphlet published by RASTAL GMBH&CO.KG.
Rastal has created a communication
centre - the Rastal Gallery - in the West German town of
Höhr-Grenzhausen. In this gallery, the collection is presented in
large-scale display cases. For all forms of events, facilities are
available in the adjacent Rastal seminar centre. These rooms are to be
found within Rastal's administration building and their design is
orientated on its striking hexagonal architecture.
The basis of the Rastal collection, one
of the most important and largest of its kind worldwide, encompasses
several thousand examples of drinking vessels in ceramics, glass,
pewter, silver, wood and other materials. In time, it spans all epochs
from the time of the Roman Empire to the present day.
The "Rastal Collection of Historic
Drinking Vesels" was founded and expanded by the company's co-owner,
Werner Sahm-Rastal [now deceased]. Based on his intensive acivities as
a collector and his expert theoretical engagement with the subject, he
is today an expert who has lively contact to specialists throughout the
A selection of some 500 items is on
display, put together according to the criteria of originality,
techniques, value and characteristics of areas of origin. Above all,
the exhibition offers Rastal customers within the drinks industry
stimulus for the manufacture of drinking vessel replicas. The much
admired pieces are highly regarded as present at company jubilees,
celebrations and on many other occasions. But the collection also
serves Rastal designers as a valuable mine of ideas for correct style
in new creations.
This article contains several German
terms which have significant historical or technical meanings, so they
are defined here.
Engobe - A glaze
coating on ceramic vessels consisting of a clay slip applied either by
dipping, sprinkling or my means of a brush. (This term is also used as a
Cylindrical or slightly bellied drinking vessel, the base having almost
the same diameter as the rim.
Decoration - Zig-zag patterns made with a wide, flat wooden stick in a
rocking, see-sawing motion, impressed in the unbaked ceramic body.
(cabbage stalk) - Medieval drinking vessel, its form and the appolied
burls having similarity to a cabbage stalk without leaves.
baking - A baking (firing) technique producing stoneware with a brown
surface. The feeding of oxygen combined with high temperature causes
oxydization of the iron content of the stoneware surface.
Narrow, conical jug similar to the Schnelle but smaller.
(dialect: bottle) The Pulle was manufacured during the 16th century,
predominantly in Siegburg. It embodies both jug and bottle forms. The
vessel has rounded body with a flat base and a short high-lipped
(scored)-decoration - This design is made by scoring with pointed
wooden sticks often combined with cobalt or manganese coloring.
baking (firing) - Baking tehnique producing grey or white stoneware.
After salting and at the highest temperature the furnace-oxygen feed is
Schnelle - High, conical jug.
Although characteristic of Siegburg, also manufactured in other Rhenish
stoneware centres (except Westerwald) Origin of the name is unknown.
The pot bakers region
with the town of Höhr-Grenzhausen at its centre, lies in the southwest
of the Westerwald. It is almost certain that the manufacture of ceramic
wares was carried out here even in pre and early historic times.
Stoneware of high standard craftsman-ship was produced toward the end
of the 16th century as the local craft blossomed under the influence of
to right: Beer tankard, early 20th C.;
Small jug, early 17th C.; Pilgrim bottle, dated 1665; Teapot, 2nd half
beer tankard, 2nd half 16th C.
peasant dance jug, dated 1589
bearded-man jug, early 17th C.
bearded-man jug, mid 16th C.
AND EASTERN GERMAN STONEWARE CENTRES
beer tankard, dated 1879
screw-top bottle, 2nd half 17th C.
pear-shaped jug, lid dated 1699
small milk jug, 2nd half 18th C.
beer tankard, c. 1630/40