What is it and What’s it Worth?

Do you have any figurines that look like this? This gorgeous ballerina sold for $130 in 2017.

Do you have any figures that look like this beautiful ballerina? Do you recognize the maker? Wallendorf is the company that made this particular piece.  Wallendorf started by making porcelain chocolate, coffee and tea services in 1764, and then added figurines a few years later.  There are over 2,700 Wallendorf pieces listed in our Worthopedia.  Learn more about the history of this company and take your knowledge of porcelain to the next level.

History

In 1761, Johan Wofgang Hamann from Katzhütte applied for porcelain manufacturing permission from the house of Scharzburg-Rudolstadt. Unfortunately for Hamann, the permission had been granted three days earlier to Heinich Macheleid in Sitzendorf.  Persistent, a year later, he began producing hard paste porcelain in his home in Katzhütte.

In 1763, Hamann purchased the Frieherr von Hohental manor in Lichte on the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield bank of the Lichte river.  A year later, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg granted Hamann a license to begin manufacturing porcelain.  Hamann, his son Ferdinand Friedrich, and cousins Gottfired and Gotthelf, established Hamann & Greiner in Lichte (Wallendorf).  After Gottfried Greiner died in 1768, his brother Gotthelf returned to Limbach in 1771 to start his own factory. The Hamann family now controlled the factory.

This Wallendorf teapot sold for $75 in 2018.

Johann Wolfgang Hamann retired in 1776.  Ferdinand Friedrich Hamann became manager.  Initially, local materials were used.  In 1780, Bohemian kaolin was purchased.  It produced a snow-white hard paste porcelain.  Ferdinand died in 1786.  His wife Anna Margaretha Hamann became the manager until her son Ferdinand Friedrich Hamann, Jr., took control in 1811.  In 1787 due to a complaint from Meissen, Hamman had to change its marks.

In 1829, Friederich Christian Hutschenreuther and Hermann Kieser leased the factory.  When Ferdinand, Jr., died in 1833 and Kieser left, the Hamann family sold the factory to Hustchenreuther, Kämpfe and Heubach, a partnership consisting of Friedrich Hustchenreuther, Friedrich Kämpfe, and Gabriel Heubach.

In 1887, the name changed to Heubach, Kämple and Sonntage and in 1897 to Kämple & Heubach AG.  It was a period of intense squabbles within the company.  Value resources were squandered.  Sontag left in 1897.  Figurines again became the main production focus.

Porcelain production was suspended from 1915 to 1919.

This set of 11 Rose/East Frisian Rose dinner plates sold for $100 in 2017.

In 1919, the Porcelain Factory Fraureuth acquired the plant and used it to house its art division.  After a 1926 bankruptcy, Heinz Schaubach, a former director of the factory, acquired the plant and named it Porzellanfabrik Shaubach-Kunst.  The factory suffered heavily due to the loss of materials and workers in World War II.  The firm was nationalized in 1953 and initially named VEB “Schaubach-Kunst” Lichte Wallendorf.  The firm became VEB Wallendorfer Porzellanfabrik from 1960 to 1990.  Production of figurines and coffee and dinner services resulted in a work force growth to almost 1,000 people.

The factory was privatized in 1990, owned for a short period of time by Herbert Hillebrand Baubetreuungs- und Grundbesitz.  The company also owned ceramic factories in Blankenhain and Weimar.  In 2005, Gilitzer Porzellan Manufaktur purchased the factory, turning it into a factory outlet.  Gilitzer filed for bankruptcy in 2008.  Erich Bruckert, the manager, proved uncooperative.  As of 2011, the liquidation of assets continues.

What to Look For

The early companies focused on the production of chocolate, coffee, and tea services. These firms also made beer steins, pipe bowls, tobacco boxes, and sanitary items.

The Schaubach figurines bring a premium price. This piece sold for $350 in 2012.

Figurines were introduced in the early 1780s and went through several distinct production periods.  The earlier, the better is a good value rule.  Figurines specifically identified with an owner, such as Schaubach, bring a premium.

Ballerina figures from the early 20th century form a major secondary collecting category.  Some ballerina figures had a risqué aspect.  Other female figurines from this period attract collectors.  Do not confuse post-World War II figurines with those from the early 20th century.  The “1746” date in the mark indicates a later piece.

Marks

Some Wallendorf porcelain trademarks are similar to those used by Meissen.

“W” made from two crossed “v’s”.  Variation has loop at top of crossed “v’s”.

Asterisk made with three crossed lines.

Asterisk over two crossed swords with guard line at top.  Deliberately meant to be confused with Meissen mark.

The Wallendorf crown and orb marking is clear in this photo.

Two lobbed crown with orb with cross in center above “W” made from two “vs” above “1764”.

“W” with heart top, dot beneath center and “WALLENDORF” in reverse arch on bottom. Variation with double inside of single line “W”.


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