The stylistic changes of the German wall pocket have gone from dainty cherubs and delicate flowers common in the mid nineteenth century to rich colors and abstract designs popular in the mid twentieth century.
What is a Wall Pocket?
Wall pockets, also known as wall vases, are made to hang on a wall as a decorative piece. Most styles have a hole in the back to make them easy to hang. There are certain styles that have two handles, each with a hole, and a chord or wire that holds the wall vase.
Wall pockets look wonderful either alone as a wall decoration or holding fresh, silk or dried flowers. Many collectors group pockets together for a nice display of their treasures.
Early German Porcelain
Companies well known for early German porcelain are Meissen, Rosenthal and Dresden. Others companies include Villeroy and Boch, Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur (KPM Berlin), and Furstenberg. Each of these companies produced fine porcelain pieces that included wall pockets.
Identifying Early German Porcelain Marks
One area of confusion that often comes up for both novice and experienced collectors is identifying the many porcelain marks of Germany. A valuable resource for collectors is Porcelain Marks and More. This website offers information on the marks from all the various German states including:
- Lower Saxony
- North Rhine-Westphalia
- Saar Basin
German Majolica Wall Pockets
First introduced at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, majolica was developed by Herbert Minton, a ceramist, and Leon Arnoux, a chemist. It is a soft earthenware ceramic that is fired several times at high temperatures. The glazes are rich in color and contain metal oxide giving the finished pieces their deeply brilliant and translucent colors. Several well known producers of German majolica wall pockets were Wilhelm Schiller and Sons, B. Bloch and Company and Julius Dressler. The wares of these companies were modeled on English majolica. However, the combinations of glaze colors were darker which is characteristic of pieces made in Central Europe.
Examples of beautiful German majolica wall pockets are shown on:
- Ophelia Fine Arts: Antique Majolica and Palissy Wares. Scroll down the page to view these magnificent antique wall pockets.
- An exquisite lion head wall pocket - unmarked (at the top of the page)
- A highly detailed wall pocket of a bird and nest by Hugo Lonitz (4th on the page)
- A pair of Worcester wall pockets with birds (6th on the page)
- A Hugo Lonitz bird at nest wall pocket made in the HL factory circa 1890 (11th on page)
The other wall pockets pictured on this page are French pieces.
- Trilogy Antiques shows two magnificent Continental wall pockets, circa 1880. Scroll to the bottom of the page, they are the last two on the page.
German Wall Pockets from in the 1900s
A resurgence in the interest of wall pockets took place between the 1930s-1950s when they were displayed on the walls of many homes in the United States and Europe. They were manufactured in many countries including the United States, Germany and Japan. Wall pocket shapes ranged from realistic to fanciful and were produced in the following materials:
In the later 1950s wall pockets lost favor as decorative items in many homes but caught the interest of collectors.
As home decor styles changed, wall pockets, often referred to at the time as part of the wall art collections, and were being made by West German companies. Also called art pottery many of these wall vases have mottled rich colors and cubist designs. Several West German companies that produced wall pockets from the 1960s-1970s were Keto, Kiechle and Ruscha Keramik.
Even if you are not a collector of wall vases, hanging a German wall pocket in your home is a wonderful way of adding a touch of European charm.