Signed by Kolb (left) and Walther (right)

Artist Signed R.S. Germany

by Lee Marple

Signed by Klett

Signed by Hoppe

About 1910, wholesale firms were offering far less imported porcelain than in previous years, and the shapes were very simple in design compared to those made just two to three years earlier. Manufacturers needed something novel in the decoration of their products to provoke interest by wholesale firms. Complex central designs that were essentially hand painted and signed by the decorator were new features of Reinhold's products. Only on rare occasions did any wholesale firm advertise the source of any of their products, and we have never found a mention of "artist signed" in the description of merchandise in catalogs issued prior to 1910.

Signed by Klett

Signed by Hörnlein

The problem that must have faced Reinhold's firm was how to create colorful, complex scenes that were essentially hand painted, yet inexpensive to produce. For ten years, the firm had relied on decalcomanias for the central decoration of most objects, and while these decals were applied by an artist, the only part of the decoration original to the artist was the painted perimeter and shading to minimize the abrupt change in color(s) at the edge of the decal. While Reinhold's decorators were certainly capable of painting an entire scene, the outline transfer technique used prior to 1900 was reinstated to make it easier for them, and at the same time bring some standardization to their decorating patterns. It is now apparent that the artists took their work seriously, and made ware with some variability through the selection of slightly different outline transfers for the various features that were desired. So while there may be a group of white birch trees in the foreground, the shapes of the trees may vary from piece to piece, as well as their relative position.

Signed by Schön

Signed by Weiss

Without exception, artist signatures are in the lower right quadrant of the scene on plates, trays, and bowls. Often, they are readily visible, but on occasion, they are very well hidden in the foreground painting. On round objects, the name might appear on the side opposite the central scene. The names of artists that we have cataloged to date are as follows: Happ, Hoppe, Hörnlein, Kolb, Klett, Rein, Schön,Schübel, Walther, Weigamot, and Weiss. Very likely there are others, but these are the names most commonly found.

Signed by Happ

Signed by Heim

Two basic types of woodland, outline transfer scenes were used at Reinhold's factory: the one shown here with white birch (?) trees, and the other with "big trees." The big tree decoration certainly involved as much artistic work, but at the present time, we know of no signed example.

John Roth Logo

Woodland scenes are frequently marked on the back with "Handpainted R.S. Germany." Other marks may be found, including the RS Germany Wreath and Star, and a mark in green that was customized for John Roth. About1909, Roth (a former employee of C.E. Wheelock) contracted with Reinhold's factory to produce custom hand decorated merchandise. A large portion of the ware delivered to Roth in 1910 is artist signed.

Copyright 2009 Lee Marple