Discocer the golden age of Mettlach Ceramic

stahlbild

Chromolith (etched stein)

At the World's Fair of Philadelphia ( 1876 ) and Paris ( 1878 ), Villeroy & Boch Mettlach introduced a completely new branch of production, chromolith (= colored stone). The decor was created by processing different colored masses.

But a few years earlier, at the World's Fair in Vienna ( 1873 ), this new form of fine stoneware caused a great sensation.

Consequently, it is not surprising that these magnificent stoneware vessels were already exhibited throughout the 1880s in private homes, museums, restaurants, coffeehouses and pubs. In the modern beer palaces of the big cities, the lovely works of art produced great admiration.

Now you could of course note that also other manufacturers such procedures applied. However, these had little in common with the Mettlach Chromolith technique .

These were designed in many colors with differently colored masses, which were separated by a black line. Fields and figures were thus clearly highlighted.

Under the Mettlach artist Christian Warth the Chromolith technique receives the highest technical and artistic perfection. It was the first true, mosaic-like chromolith (found only on the # 830- # 890 molds ) assigning to this artist and the noblest ceramic product of the 19th century .

In the true chromolithic process , the etched (notched) lines that separated the colors from each other were filled with a contrasting tone before the first firing. This resulted in a smooth surface , as known from the email painting.

Due to the high cost of the " real Chromoloth technique " they changed to the so-called " etched stoneware " with recessed black contours (--> no contrasting tone was used anymore).

This was much easier to produce, but the term " Chromolith" was conducted. The etched lines were still noticeable after the fire.

Artists such as Otto Hupp , Franz Stuck , Heinrich Schlitt , Fritz Quidenus and Ludwig Hohlwein created designs for a variety of Mettlach Chromolith products , which also achieved ceramic excellence.

If today the name " Mettlach " is called among collectors, then this usually happens in connection with the beautiful, colored Chromolith products .

These Mettlach ceramics items brought the company a variety of awards and prizes. Although they are mass-produced, they are recognized as one of the finest quality products of their kind.

Astonishingly, these products are often falsely named "etched" products. Unfortunately, this term has become firmly established in today's usage. In reality, the chromolith goods are not usually "etched", but the pattern / lines comes through a kind of molding or pressing process on the body.

Due to the major fire in the Mettlach factory in 1921 the most patterns, shapes, sketches and records for the production of these goods Chromo1 were destroyed, one have barely detailed information on the manufacturing technology. In the course of time, many " chromolith theories " have developed, all of which have more or less common features. One of the most plausible explanations (after investigations of ceramic fragments) is that a flat or curved tray (mostly of plaster) was used on which the contours of the decor were visible as raised lines.

For the production of these plaster trays, a metal mold was used, which contained the outline of the decorative pattern, which raised as ridges after pouring out process (= making a negative mold made of plaster). On this tray was painted a (~ 3 millimeters thick) colored clay slip and after all the colors were applied, the whole thing was still provided if necessary with shades by applying atomizing device (eg look the stein with the mold number # 2134 ).

The tray was then pressed on the designated decorating point in the form piece. The outline lines (etched lines) were highlighted after the decorative firing by rubbing with black, matt glaze, so that the different colors and outlines of the decor images were sharply demarcated.

For larger body surfaces woodcut-like outlines were drawn on it after an original design by the artist, then etched (here fits the term) and painted over with black paint (eg black stone mass slip = barbotine). In the subsequent wiping away of the black color from the surface, the black color remained in the furrows.

There are also Mettlacher Chromolith articles , which are provided with a thick, glossy glaze (eg the pitcher with the dragon handle and the mold number # 1786 from the Mettlach artist Otto Hupp). These were painted from the outside with colored glazes and if necessary, additionally a frosted glaze was applied by hand to emphasize shades.

In almost all theories, it is assumed that the handles were attached to most steins separately, which also applies to some object buttoms.

The first "etched" Mettlach items had sharply etched lines and were usually more colorful than the items that were on the market 20 years later. From 1905 , the richness of color, the shades and the complexity of the design decreased significantly due to the high production costs.

The following, signed design of the artist Fritz Quidenus from the stein with the mold number # 2441 from the year 1897 (private property of Anton Post / Saarwellingen) shows that the different decor areas were given a number.

Thus, the individual decor sections on the plaster tray could be assigned to exactly one color. The fact that it also came to errors (a color was applied in the wrong field), if one imagine the large number of color areas. So it is not surprising that occasionally Chromolith articles with the same decor  differ in color at one or more parts. .


ChromolithGallery 2441 2

 

 

Hand-etched Mettlach ceramics

For some objects from the Mettlach production, the decors were not made according to the mechanical process described above but really hand-etched. There may be more than 50 different items, but an exact number is unknown. The ceramics appear in the Mettlach stoneware catalogs from 1885 and 1899 , but disappeared in the 1905 catalog. They have been marked in the catalog in the column "OBJECT" with the addition " engraved, handmade ". Although they were quite high priced they were often sold.

The hand- etched vases show the following differences to the mechanically etched Mettlach products

  • The decors were painted with colored slip and are significantly thicker than those with the form-applied decors
  • Color intensities due to the use of slip are different. For mechanically "etched" products, the fields separated by lines were much more uniform in color
  • Hand etching pushed up mass along the edges of the lines, which you can clearly feel when you touch it with your fingers
  • The serial number of the engraver (Arabic numbers 1-9) was shown next to the already known markings on the object buttom
  • none of the shapes is exactly the same (numerous, not insignificant differences are visible)

The objects marked as hand- etched (engraved, handmade) in the Mettlach Steinzeugkatalogen ( 1885-1899 ) and from other sources have the following form number

# 1495, # 1682

Hand-etched Mettlach Vases / Jardiniers :

# 1337, # 1351, # 1356, # 1378, # 1383, # 1456 ( Jardiniere), # 1457 ( Jardiniere), # 1486, # 1496, # 1516, # 1588, # 1631, # 1709, # 1710, # 1760 , # 1840, # 1844, # 1847, # 2456. # 2477, # 2489, # 2535, # 2536, # 2537, # 2538, # 2552, # 2562, # 2565, # 2566, # 2571, # 2572, # 2573, # 2575

hand-etched other Mettlach products :

# 1330 (tobacco pot), # 1330 (biscuit tin), # 1333 (pitcher), # 1334 (ice bucket), # 1329 (Saladian), # 1331 (honey tin), # 1332 (butter dish)

Example of a hand-etched decor - vase # 2536

handgeritzt

 

Mixing the scribing technique with other techniques

There are a variety of Mettlacher items that combine the etching technique with other techniques. For example, there is mosaic + etching, relief + etchingand also cameo + etching.

A special kind of "etched" steins are the tapestry steins (not a good word for this decorative shape, taken from the American). These usually have a etched picture on the front (with the implied nails one has the impression, as if the picture had been stapled like a tapestry on the stein, which could have been the reason for the designation), while the sides and the back area remained more or less undecorated.

In the following the currently known Chromolith articles including their mixed forms are listed. This is constantly updated!

etched Mettlach pitcher / beer mug / Beer Stein + mixed forms

# 1052, # 1053, # 1054 (+ relief), # 1057 (+ mosaic), # 1065 (+ mosaic), # 1069, # 1096, # 1130, # 1131, # 1132, # 1146, # 1149, # 1154 # 1159 # 1161 # 1162 # 1163 # 1164 # 1228 # 1379 # 1394 # 1395 # 1396 # 1397 # 1403 # 1453 # 1454 # 1469 # 1471 # 1472 # 1475 # 1476 # 1477 # 1478 # 1479 # 1480 # 1494 # 1498 # 1508 # 1519 # 1520 # 1521 # 1527 # 1532 # 1533 (tapestry) # 1536 (Tapestry), # 1561, # 1562, # 1566, # 1577, # 1578, # 1593, # 1634 (+ glazed), # 1641 (tapestry), # 1642 (tapestry), # 1643 (tapestry), # 1644 (Tapestry), # 1645 (Tapestry), # 1646 (Tapestry), # 1647 (Tapestry), # 1648 (Tapestry), # 1649 (Tapestry), # 1650 (Tapestry), # 1655, # 1656, # 1662 ( Tapestry), # 1675, # 1690, # 1695, # 1698 (tapestry), # 1723, # 1724, # 1725, # 1732, # 1733, # 1734, # 1741, # 1742, # 1786, # 1794, # 1795 , # 1796, # 1797, # 1809 (+ relief), # 1817, # 1818, # 1819, # 1823, # 1830, # 1851, # 1856 (+ glazed), # 1861 (+ overprint), # 1863, # 1864, # 1890 (+), # 1907, # 1915 (+), # 1916, # 1932, # 1934, # 1940, # 1941, # 1 # 1947 # 1949 # 1950 # 1951 # 1956 # 1968 # 1972 # 1975 # 1976 # 1986 # 1987 # 1995 # 1997 (#), # 1998 # 1999 , # 2002, # 2003, # 2004, # 2005, # 2006, # 2007, # 2008, # 2009, # 2012 (+ mosaic), # 2020, # 2024, # 2025, # 2027, # 2028, # 2029, # 2030 # 2031 # 2035 # 2040 # 2044 # 2049 # 2050 # 2051 # 2052 # 2053 # 2054 # 2057 # 2065 # 2068 # 2074 # 2075 (+ glazed # 2082 # 2083 # 2089 # 2090 # 2091 # 2092 # 2093 # 2094 # 2095 # 2096 # 2097 # 2100 # 2101 # 2102 # 2103 # 2104 # 2105, # 2106, # 2107, # 2121, # 2122, # 2123, # 2126, # 2133, # 2134, # 2136 (+ overprint), # 2141, # 2185, 2190, # 2191, # 2192, # 2193 , # 2201, # 2205, # 2206, # 2223, # 2230, # 2231, # 2235, # 2238, # 2255, # 2276 (+ relief), # 2277, # 2281, # 2282, # 2285, # 2286, # 2300 # 2302 # 2324 # 2373 # 2382 # 2383 # 2391 # 2394 # 2401 # 2402 # 2403 # 2428 # 2430 # 2441 # 2455 # 2481 # 2482 , # 2500, # 2501, # 2520, # 2524, # 2528, # 2531, # 2532, # 2580, # 2581, # 2582, # 2583, # 2585 (+ relief), # 2599, # 2632, # 2635, # 2638, # 2639, # 2640, # 2662, # 2681, # 2682, # 2690, # 26 91, # 2692, # 2693, # 2716, # 2717 (+ glazed), # 2718 (+ glazed), # 2719 (+ glazed), # 2720 (+ glazed), # 2721 (glazed), # 2722 (+ glazed), # 2723 (+ glazed), # 2724 (+ glazed), # 2725 (glazed), # 2726 (glazed), # 2727 (glazed), # 2728 (glazed), # 2729 (glazed) ), # 2730 (+ glazed), # 2745, # 2751, # 2752, # 2764, # 2765, # 2766, # 2767, # 2768, # 2776, # 2777, # 2778, # 2780, # 2796, # 2797 , # 2798, # 2799, # 2800, # 2801, # 2802, # 2807, # 2808, # 2809, # 2810, # 2811, # 2812, # 2813, # 2825, # 2830, # 2831, # 2832, # 2833 (AF), # 2844, # 2845, # 2871, # 2872, # 2878 (tapestry), # 2880, # 2886, # 2887, # 2888, # 2889, # 2891, # 2892, # 2894, # 2900, # 2903, # 2911, # 2912, # 2917, # 2921, # 2922, # 2934, # 2935, # 2936, # 2937, # 2938, # 2939, # 2956, # 2957, # 2958, # 2959, # 2966 (Tapestry), # 2967 (Tapestry), # 2993, # 2994, # 3000, # 3001, # 3002, # 3003, # 3004, # 3005, # 3042, # 3043, # 3084 (Tapestry), # 3085 (Tapestry ), # 3086 (tapestry), # 3087 (tapestry), # 3089, # 3090, # 3091, # 3092, # 3093, # 3099, # 3119. # 3135 # 3136 # 3137 # 3138 # 3139 # 3142 # 3143 # 3144 # 3156 # 3167 # 3168 # 3169 # 3170 # 3171 # 3172 # 3173 # 3188 , # 3189, # 3190, # 3191, # 3192, # 3193, # 3200, # 3202, # 3219, # 3220, # 3221, # 3236, # 3238, # 3239, # 3240, # 3241, # 3242, # # 3245, # 3245, # 3251, # 3252, # 3253, # 3254, # 3276, # 3277, # 3278, # 3279, # 3280, # 3281, # 3288 , # 3289, # 3321, # 3329 (+ relief), # 3332, # 3333, # 3335, # 3349, # 3350, # 3351

etched Mettlach Wall Plate / Plaque / Plate + Mixed Shapes

# 852, # 895, # 1048/3036 (I-VI), # 1091/3061, # 1094/3062, # 1097/3063, # 1106/3096, # 1107/3091, # 1108, # 1109/3092, # 1114 (+ overprint), # 1165/3095, # 1170/3097 (+ glazed), # 1172/3098 (+ glazed), # 1176/3094 (+ mosaic), # 1177 (+ glazed), # 1285 (+ mosaic ), # 1365, # 1369 (+ mosaic), # 1376, # 1384, # 1385, # 1386, # 1387, # 1388, # 1404 (+ mosaic), # 1405, # 1407, # 1408, # 1410, # 1412, # 1413, # 1414, # 1415, # 1417, # 1418, # 1422, # 1423, # 1424, # 1425, # 1473, # 1474, # 1488, # 1489, # 1490, # 1607, # 1651, # 1652, # 1676, # 1718, # 1719, # 1770, # 2010, # 2011, # 2013, # 2022, # 2023 (+ relief), # 2041, # 2042, # 2070, # 2078, # 2079, # 2080 # 2081 # 2112 # 2113 # 2142 # 2143 # 2146 # 2147 # 2148 # 2149 # 2187 # 2188 # 2195 # 2196 # 2199 # 2200 # 2287 # 2288 # 2322 # 2323 # 2350 # 2351 # 2361 (AB) # 2362 # 2459 # 2460 # 2484 # 2485 # 2507 # 2508 # 2513 # 2517 # 2518 , # 2533, # 2534, # 2541, # 2542, # 2543, # 2544, # 2545, # 2546, # 2548, # 2549, # 2550, # 2551, # 2558, # 2559, # 2560, # 2561, # 2563, # 2564, # 2590, # 2591, # 2592, # 2593, # 2596, # 2 597, # 2606, # 2621, # 2622, # 2623, # 2624, # 2625, # 2626, # 2644, # 2645, # 2647, # 2648, # 2658, # 2659, # 2697, # 2698, # 2712, # 2713, # 2739 (+ glazed), # 2740, # 2741, # 2749, # 2750, # 2759, # 2760, # 2769, # 2770, # 2804, # 2805, # 2898, # 2899, # 2997, # 2998, # 3161, # 3162, # 3163, # 3164, # 3165, # 3166, # 3182, # 3183 

etched Mettlach mug / beaker + mixed forms

# 2897, # 2904, # 3197, # 3198, # 3325, # 3326, # 3327, # 3365

etched Mettlach punch bowl / bowl + mixed forms

# 1859, # 1966, # 2000, # 2014, # 2088, # 2694, # 2806 (+ cameo), # 2814, # 2843, # 2890 (+ cameo), # 2918, # 2974, # 2992, # 3088, # 3334, # 3360, # 3432, # 4510

etched Mettlach cup + mixed forms

# 1735, # 1785, # 1820 (+ relief), # 2058 (+ relief), # 2063, # 2066, # 2084, # 2110, # 2120

etched Mettlach vase + mixed forms

# 1354, # 1416 (+ mosaic), # 1458, # 1462, # 1491, # 1509, # 1511, # 1517, # 1537, # 1591, # 1594, # 1614 (+ mosaic), # 1616 (+ relief) # 1633 # 1664 (+ relief) # 1670 # 1683 (+ relief) # 1684 # 1700 # 1702 # 1705 # 1715 # 1749 # 1826 # 1845 # 1860 # 1870 # 1883 # 2037 # 2127 # 2171 # 2172 # 2174 # 2175 # 2207 # 2209 # 2239 # 2242 # 2252 # 2253 # 2254 # 2279 # 2299 # 2301 # 2328 # 2414 # 2416 # 2420 # 2422 # 2424 # 2425 # 2434 # 2435 # 2453 # 2454 # 2462 # 2463 # 2467 # 2472 # 2473 # 2474, # 2483, # 2504, # 2539, # 2540, # 2567, # 2568, # 2569, # 2574, # 2576, # 2577, # 2578, # 2579, # 2588, # 2589, # 2598, # 2600 , # 2605, # 2609, # 2641, # 2642, # 2643, # 2665, # 2676, # 2679, # 2851, # 2857 (+ mosaic), # 2905, # 2909, # 2913, # 2915, # 2976, # 2977, # 2979, # 2981, # 2986, # 2999 (+ relief), # 3048, # 3074, # 3076, # 3229, # 3231, # 3233, # 3348, # 3356, # 3357, # 3358, # 3359

etched Mettlach pitcher 

# 1124, # 1512, # 1513, # 1632 (with straight and snake handles), # 2258, # 2381, # 2433, # 2486, # 2604

etched Ashtray / Ash Tray and Match Holder / Match Box Holders :

# 2838, # 2839, # 2840, # 2841, # 2846, # 2847, # 2848, # 2849, # 2876, # 2877, # 2882, # 2883, # 2906, # 2807, # 2963, # 2964, # 2982 , # 2983, # 2988, # 2989, 3056, # 3057, 3180, # 3196, # 3377

etched smoker set / tuxedo set

# 3180

Tobacco Jar and Biscuit Can / Bisquit Jar

# 1231, # 2881, # 2896, # 3337, # 3465, # 4504, # 4515

flowerpot and jardiniere

# 1128, # 1355, # 1626, # 1813, # 2167, # 2168, # 2169, # 2170, # 2173, # 2415, # 2417, # 2421, # 2423, # 2646, # 2653, # 2654, # 2657 , # 2910, # 2914, # 2916, # 2965, # 2980, # 2987, # 3047, # 3075, # 3077. # 3145, # 3146, # 3147, # 3155

pedestals with flowerpot

# 2426 + # 2427, # 2516 + # 2509, # 2933 + # 2908

Loving Cups and Pass Cups

# 2167, # 2168, # 2169, # 2170, # 2236

coasters 

# 2817, # 2818, # 2819, # 2820, # 2821, # 2822

Beer Tap

# 2649, # 2666, # 2672, # 2684, # 3184

protected umbrella stand 

# 1711

Served Liqueur Bottle and Sets 

# 3181

protected biscuit / cake plate

# 1608, # 1763, # 1764, # 1765

carved bowl with foot / Compote

# 1784 (+ relief), # 2895, # 3336, # 3340

Salad Bowl

# 1320

Honey pot

# 1230

 Butter Dish

# 3102, # 3103, # 3104

Art Nouveau and Art Deco

# 2946, # 2947, # 2948, # 2952, # 2960, # 2961, # 2962, # 3051, # 3052, # 3053, # 3054, # 3055, # 3062, # 3063, # 3064, # 3065, # 3066 , # 3067, # 3068, # 3069, # 3096, # 3321, # 3322, # 3323, # 3330, # 3341, # 3352, # 3361, # 3362, # 3363, # 3364, # 3366, # 3481

clocks

# 2487

candlesticks

# 3338, # 3339, # 3437

tiles set in furniture

# 1544, # 1545, # 1546, # 1547, # 1548, # 1549

sanitary items

# 3152

wash basins

# 3050

To enlarge the pictures simply click on them with the mouse!

 

 

Sources:

1st Mettlacher Turm (June 2002 , no. 87 ), club magazine of the Mettlacher Steinzeugsammler Verein, article: Robert D. Wilson: hand-scored Mettlacher ceramics

2. Villeroy & Boch 1885 Mettlach 1905 : Mettlach stoneware 1885 - 1905: Dr. med. Therese Thomas, Anton Post, Saarwellingen December 1975

3. Ceramics Museum Mettlach: longing for distant worlds - Villeroy & Boch and the world exhibitions 1851 - 1900

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