Peter Winkel

Peter Winkel PortraitPeter Winkel was the first employee of Villeroy & Boch Mettlach in the golden age I was interested as collector. He was a good friend of the Mettlach modeler Jean-Baptiste Stahl and lived like him in Mettlach-Keuchingen.

By chance, I saw a beautiful, large amphora offered in an eBay auction and the seller reported very passionately about the chief painter and director of the Mettlacher drawing school . Since I was interested in the amphora and I would like to know more about the artist who painted the two bouquest of flowers on the amphora  (signature with the name " Winkel" is clearly visible on the decor, see also the picture below) before making a deal, I was looking into this person. 

Full of expectation, I hoped to find some information about this artist on the World Wide Web. But surprisingly, I found next to nothing. Even clever keyword combinations did not help much. Only a short mention on the website "Kunstlexikonsaar.de" that he should have helped with the reconstruction of the parish church of St. Lutwinus in Mettlach from 1899-1905 during the restoration.

How should it go now, I wondered? The amphora interested me, but without further information I did not want to buy it. Then I remembered a report in the club news (booklet 4/14) of the Stein club "Old Germans" ( www.altegermanen-krugsammler.de ), who reported on a person by the name of Peter Winkel. The booklet was sent to me as a sample book, because I was interested in a membership in this club at that time.

So I picked up the club news again and found a very detailed report incl. a portrait of the artist, family pictures and associated Mettlach products.

The only question left was whether the amphora was actually produced in Mettlach. Since there was no mark under the buttom, this could not be said clearly. However, Peter Winkel worked only for Villeroy & Boch in Mettlach in his life and so this assumption was very plausible.

Despite this little uncertainty, I bought the amphora. Then I checked up if the production had really taken place in Mettlach. But instead of turning to the Villeroy & Boch corporate archive, I sought in other places and wrote to a variety of museums, art dealers and action houses. Unfortunately nobody could help me.

I had already abandoned hope that I would still find the proof. I started one last attempt by email and contacted directly the corporate archive of Villeroy & Boch in Merzig . This passed my questions to the Ceramics Museum in Mettlach .

After a few days, I finally got a positive answer. The amphora definitely came from the Signatur Peter Winkel Production by Villeroy & Boch Mettlach, even though there were no more documents. These are most likely (like many others) all burnt by the fire in the Mettlach abbey (1921) resp. were destroyed in the World War II. At least the amphora was known to the employees of the Kereamik Museum. This type of Mettlacher articels was produced in the period from 1900-1920 in Mettlach as cast blank, which were then individually decorated on customer request (eg churches).

The following known Mettlach products with signature are assigned to this artist

(Transfer) wall plate / plaque / plate

# 1044/1325, # 1044/1326, # 1044/1327, # 1044/1328, # 1044/9027, # 1044/9028, # 1044/9029, # 1044/9030, # 1044/9031, # 1290/3225

Pitcher / beer stein

# 1909/1338, # 1909/1339

Bowl / bowl

# 3379/1420 (castle Cochem and castle Rheinstein)

Beer dispenser / beer tap

# 2671 (decor: deer and deer)

 

Sources :

1. Mettlach Tower (July 2014, No. 110): Article: Peter and Ludwig Winkel, page 8-11, author: Horst Barbian 

Vita of Peter Winkel

 Born     October 4, 1866

  • Birth of Peter Winkel in Wallerfangen (Germany, Saarland) as the son of the mason Peter Winkel and Anna Berger. Besides the son, the couple had a daughter

training   October 1st, 1880

  • Start of apprenticeship at the earthenware factory "Villeroy & Boch" in Mettlach   and learning the basics from the mass preparation to the end product. After passing the exam, he was transferred to the decoration department of the company, which was headed by Johann Ludwig (Jean) Beck ( 1862 - 1938 ).
  • Voluntary visit to the company's drawing school and further education at the Munich Academy and / or Royal Art and Crafts School Munich. This school visit can not be clearly documented. An archive entry in Mettlach describes him as a painter of the "old Munich school" and suggests this.

job    

  • 1890 : provisional takeover of the management of the Mettlach drawing school after the departure of Jean Beck from the company
  •  from January 1, 1896 : transfer in the employment relationship and in the management of the Mettlach drawing scholl. In addition to his teaching job, he designed a number of decors and borders for dishes, washing sets and utensils
  • 1899 : Creation of a document for the new church of St. Lutwinus in Mettlach which is still immured on the left side of the apse
  • 1906/1931 : Honor for 25 resp. 50 years of loyal service in the company

family     on May 4, 1894

  • Marriage of Elisabeth Moll from Hemmersdorf (Germany, Saarland) with whom he had 6 children (Mar. Anna, Helena, Franz, J. Wilhelm and the twins Albert and Ludwig)

address   from April 1895

  • living at first in Mettlach , from 1898 own house in Mettlach-Keuchingen

 

Died       on 06 . March 1932

  • in Mettlach-Keuchingen

 

snipe 800

Wall plate No. 1044 Dec. 9031 signed by Peter Winke

 

 

Quellenangaben :Sources :

1. Mettlacher Turm (Juli 2014, Nr. 110): Vereinszeitschrift des Mettlacher Steinzeugsammler Vereins, Artikel: Peter und Ludwig Winkel, Seite 8-11, Autor: Horst Barbian

Signatures of Peter Winkel

Unfortunately, there are only a few signed decor templates for the PUG or hand-painted items (steins, wall plaques, bowls, beer taps, ...) from the top painter of Mettlach stoneware company "Peter Winkel" and thus can be certain designs also not sure assigned, expecially decors which were created by him before 1900 .

After 1900 , however, he had apparently been allowed to apply his signature inconspicuously on the products decorated by him.

It was the geometric symbol of an angle and an optional 4-digit year. For a long time this type of signing had remained hidden. Only American Robert Wilson from Springville (also called "Mr. Mettlach") in California found out in 2001 that Peter Winkel used this very special signature for his decors.

For Peter WInkel , the permission to use his signature was a very special distinction and appreciation to the artist by Villeroy & Boch. Not every artist was allowed to apply his signature to the Mettlach ceramics in golden year of Mettlach ceramics.

In addition to the angle sign (sometimes the letter P. was also prefixed by the first name), which was often on Umdruck-decors designed by him, there were also signatures on products that show his spelled last name " Winkel". These were on the one hand oil paintings, which he created quite privately, but also Mettlacher articles, which were personally painted by him on special customer request. 

Winkel mit Jahreszahl

(geometric) angle signature with year 1910 on transfer wall plaques and steins

Bowl 3379 1420

First letter of the first name (P.) with (geometric) angle and year 1912 on transfer punch # 3379/1420

Winkel Nachname auf Vase

Angle signature on self-painted Mettlach items

Winkel Nachname auf Ölgemälde

Angle signature with year 1908 on self-painted oil painting

Winkel Nachname auf Ölgemälde1

Angle signature with year 1909 on self-painted oil painting 

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