It’s all in the Marks: What Does ‘OEPIAG/EPIAG’ Mean?
. The name “OEPIAG” is an acronym for “Österreichische Porzellan Industrie AG,” which translates to Austrian Porcelain Industry. It was in use between 1918 and 1920.
Going through the e-mail from WorthPoint readers, we often receive questions about the markings on pottery and porcelain, particularly European pieces made between the First and Second World Wars (1918-1939). I often get a lot enquires about the markings “OEPIAG” and “EPIAG Marks,” such as the question below.
QUESTION: “I inherited boxes of porcelain from my Grandmother when she passed,” wrote Jim, “and several of them all have the same names in the mark. But the markings are different. Some are marked ‘EPIAG’ while others are marked ‘OEPIAG.’ Most of them have a variation of the country name ‘Czechoslovakia’ below the mark or in it. One of them had a name in the mark (Pirkin-Hammer), the rest I don’t know anything about. If they are all different companies, why do they all have the same ‘OEPIAG’ & ‘EPIAG’ marks?”
ANSWER: There is a good reason for the “OEPIAG” and “EPIAG” marks. Both OEPIAG and EPIAG were associations of different potteries put together by the Austrian Government in 1918 to promote the sale of Bohemian pottery and porcelain. The name “OEPIAG” is an acronym for “Österreichische Porzellan Industrie AG,” which translates to Austrian Porcelain Industry. Any pottery with this mark generally predates 1920, when the name was changed Erste Böhemische Porzellan Industrie AG—First Bohemian Porcelain Industry—and the mark was switched to “EPIAG.”
While several Bohemian potteries were members, the Pirken-Hammer mark you mention was used by one of founding members of the association, Fischer and Mieg, used until about 1920. Fischer and Mieg had a long history, dating back to 1802. The company, founded by Johann Gottlob List and Friedrich Höcke, produced wares under the name Friedrich Höcke. The company was then taken over by Christian Fischer, who had studied porcelain production in Sevres, France. The firm was then sold to Christian’s son, Rudolf Karl Fischer, and son in-law, Ludwig von Mieg. The company worked under that name until it was nationalized and became part of Starorolský Porcelán in 1946.
Mike Wilcox, of Wilcox & Hall Appraisers, is a Worthologist who specializes in Art Nouveau and the Arts and Craft movement.
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