What is it and What’s it Worth?

Look at the detail in the lace of this figurine! Lace was actually dipped into pottery slip and added to each piece prior to firing. Do you know the company who made these gorgeous pieces? The girl pictured here sold for $908 in March 2018.

Do you have any figurines that look like this beautiful flower girl?  Just look at the detail in her lace skirt! This is a Sitzendorf Germany Dresden Lace  figurine.  Some of these pieces sell in the thousands of dollars.   Our Worthopedia has over 8000 listings for Sitzendorf.  Learn more about this porcelain company and to take your knowledge of ceramics to the next level.

History

Around 1760, Georg Heinrich Macheleid, a theology student, received permission from Prince Johann Friedrich of Schwarzenberg-Rudolstadt to establish a porcelain manufactory in Sitzerode (Sitzendorf) located in Germany’s Thuringia region.  Under orders from the Prince, the factory moved to Volkstedt in 1762.  Macheleid left in 1767.  Christian Nonne succeeded him.  After numerous name changes, the factory continues in operation as Aelteste Vokstedter Porzellanfabrik.

Wilhelm Liebmann reestablished the porcelain manufactory in Sitzendorf in 1850. A fire gutted the factory.  Only the kilns remained.  With the financial backing of Wilhelm Örtel, Lieberman rebuilt the factory.  When Örtel and Lieberman decided to retire, they sold the factory to the brothers Alfred and Carl Voigt in 1884.

Collectors focus on figurines made between 1884 and 1932. This gorgeous group figurine c.1910 sold for $2,795 in 2013.

The first porcelain lace pieces in the Dresden-manner were introduced in 1884.  In 1890, a second plant was opened in Unterweissbach.  Sitzendorf introduced electricity in 1890.  Around 300 employees were employed between the two plants.  The railroad arrived in Sitzendor in 1899-1900.  The Voigt brothers continued to modernize the plant.  Gebr. Voigt operated from 1884 to 1896.

In 1896 under the leadership of Albert Schönau, Sitzendorf became a public stock corporation and was renamed Sitzendorf Porcelain Manufactory formerly Alfred Voigt AG.   Socio-economic pressures in the early 1930s almost resulted in bankruptcy.  Fortunately, production continued under the leadership of Reinhold Rebhan and Max Kraße.

This gorgeous centerpiece sold for $1,550 in 2011.

During World War II, workers were transferred to factories involved in war production.  Rebhan retired as director in 1948.  His son Rolf Rebhan became manager.  The company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1950.  In 1958, the company was semi-nationalized.  Failure to upgrade equipment resulted in a substantial loss of business.

In 1972, the company was fully nationalized and operated as VEB Stizendorfer Porzellanmanufaktur.  A new production facility relying entirely on electricity was built in 1974.  Uwe Hermann, Rebhan’s son-in-law, became manager.  The East Germany government slowly lost interest in the factory.  After 1985, the East German government took a renewed interest and modernized the factory.  Gas kilns replaced the electric kilns.

Notice the detail in this particular piece. Sitzendorf is known for their attention to detail.

After Germany was reunited, the company was reprivatized and resumed its older name Stizendorfer Porzellanmanufaktur vormals Alfred Voigt KG.  Once again, the factory was renovated.  In the 1990s, another period of decline occurred.  In 2011, a restructuring plan was introduced.  Figurine production was reduced in favor of utilitarian pieces for the hotel and restaurant trade.  When attempts to auction Sitzendor failed, production ceased on November 15, 2011.

What to Look For

Sitzendorf pieces are valued based on the age of their manufacture.  Each owner and/or manager had their own distinctive markings.  Early pieces were very elaborate.

Collectors focus on figurines made between 1884 and 1932.  Lace figurines are eagerly sought.  Actual lace was dipped into pottery slip and added to the piece prior to firing.  Figural groups are another popular form.

A Sitzendorf owl lamp sold for over $2,000 in 2012.

In addition to figurines, Sitzendorf also made baskets, bowls, bud vases, compotes, dolls, lamps, mantle mounts, urns, and wall brackets.  Most examples were copies of the Dresden-style—highly ornate and featuring bright colored decoration.  Decorative motifs include flowers, fruits, leaves, scroll work, and shells.  Gold edging is common.

Marks

One of several marks used by Sitzendorf.

Two vertical bars on an oplique.  Used between 1884 and 1902.

Crown with orb on top beneath which is an “S” with two oblique lines with a horizontal bar. Used between 1902 and 1918.  Second version used between 1918 and 2004.

Large “X” with diagonal line through lower left foot.  Used between 1900 and 1902.

Shield inside of which is “S” with two oblique lines with a horizontal bar and “Sitzendorf” in a reverse arch around bottom of shield.


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