Mystery Eschenbach mark with swan pulling a boat
(St. Paul, MN)
Mystery Eschenbach mark with swan pulling a boat
This is the mark on a set of china that belonged to my Great-Grandmother, Anna. I have inherited the entire set, minus one plate. Anna was born in 1888 in Lafayette, Indiana, and married in 1922 in St. Paul, MN. Both of Anna's parents were from Germany, although they were married in Indiana.
Unfortunately, my Great-Grandmother and Grandmother are both deceased, and my mother does not know when or where this china was acquired. We don't even know whether she purchased it herself or whether it could have been handed down from her parents or some other relative.
I have done research online but haven't been able to find this exact mark anywhere. From what I've been able to determine, it seems that Lohengrin is the name of the pattern, and Eschenbach is the manufacturer, obviously from Bavaria, Germany. It seems that there is a German legend of a knight named Lohengrin, who appeared in a boat drawn by a swan. So the mark is a beautiful illustration of the story the pattern is named for.
A friend of mine who studies historical textiles said the mark leads her to believe this is from the 1920s, and that Montgomery Wards carried this maker in their catalog. That could mean Anna perhaps got this around the time of her wedding. But I can't find any marks online that match this one, though there are other Eschenbach marks featuring the same script as this one.
I would love to know more about this pattern and mark. Was it sold in the US? Is it normal to have a mark so exactly matched to the pattern name, or is Lohengrin not the pattern name but rather a series identifier of some sort?
I know nothing about china patterns, but I'm interested in anything I can find out about this. These are the kinds of stories that make genealogy interesting, and that would be wonderful to share when I'm using the set.
Reply by Peter (admin)
What makes this website special is post like yours which gives the background of how a set like this comes to be in the possession of the modern generation. So many thanks for yor contribution.
I am going to do the best I can to shed as much light as I can, but I have also found this particular Eschenbach difficult to research.
It is not shown within any of my book sources - Rontgen's, Kovel's; nor on http://www.porcelainmarksandmore.com/bavaria/windischeschenbach_1/00.php
As you say, they show a variety of other marks with the Eschenbach cursive script logo, but not the one with a swan & boat & boatman silhouette saying "Lohengrin".
There are a few people selling items on eBay with the same swan logo as yours, but unfortunately, none of them know the date of this mark either.
The actual design of
the wares shown does not help the dating either because, as with yours, it is all 'classic' merchandise which could have been made anytime in the 20th Century.
One of the first problems in researching this brand is that the word "Eschenbach" is not actually the factory name as such, it is an abbreviation of the town in which the works is situated - namely Windischeschenbach. Quite a mouthful, no wonder it got abbreviated for the backstamp.
The works itself was founded by Eduard Haberlände in 1913 who made inexpensive basic items. It was taken over by Oscar Schaller in 1929 who went into more refined wares. This concern was ravaged by the war and re-started afresh in 1950 by the Winterling Group.
Haberlände didn't seem to use the 'Eschenbach' script logo at all, and it seems it was introduced in several different variations of marks, more or less its standard form, by the Oscar Schaller operation, after 1930 (which counts out the wedding in the 1920's theory).
It wasn't until after 1945 that Rontgen says the 'Eschenbach' script logo was used as a standard mark in conjunction with a small crown above it. Porcelainmarksandmore.com says the same standard mark was used between 1935 and 1945 - so there is a discrepancy between these two sources.
For me, even though none of the books or sources list your Lohengrin/swan mark, in my view it looks like marks typical of the 1950's when new techniques of colored printing were allowing a more adventurous type of mark to be designed.
This is evident in other marks of the 1950's by the same company (see the above pm&m.com link), and also elsewhere - particularly in Japan in the 1950's where there was a fashion for this type of colour transfer printing on ceramic ware logos.
So looking at the little clues, I would say this mark was not 1920's as the firm had yet to design the 'Eschenbach' brand and the accompanying script logo. There seemed to be too much else going on between the 30's and 40's for the firm to be thinking about developing a special 'Lohengrin' collection complete with an anachronistic (futuristic) 1950's style colored logo. And, one of the chief sources on information on German marks - Rontgen's, says this script mark of Eschenbach wasn't in use until after 1945.
On balance, I feel this mark must have been developed post war in the Winterling period of the 1950's. The only other time period could have been the 1930's or 40's, which I feel is much more unlikely, but, of course possible.
I don't know how this fits in with your family history and provenance, but I would love to be able to dot the 'i's' and cross the 't's'.
Let me know.
Please post if you have any further information on this pottery mark.