Steinzeugwerke Höhr-Grenzhausen GmbH
Höhr & Grenzhausen, Hesse-Nassau, Prussia. (now Höhr-Grenzhausen, Rhineland Palatinate).
A sales consortium, created and directed by Paul Merkelbach in 1910/1911, consisting of Simon Peter Gerz I, Reinhold Hanke, Reinhold Merkelbach & Walter Müller.
● The following section was written by Judith Engelmann née Merkelbach, the last manager of the factory known as Reinhold Merkelbach ●
"In 1911 Steinzeugwerke Höhr-Grenzhausen GmbH was founded by Reinhold Merkelbach, Simon Peter Gerz, Reinhold Hanke and Walter Müller. It was a marketing company, specifically to sell the Jugendstil ceramics the four factories produced. The share holders invested their modern design moulds of steins, bowls, jugs, figurines and household ceramics in the new GmbH. In 1918 Reinhold Merkelbach was the only remaining share holder, the moulds remained with Steinzeugwerke Höhr-Grenzhausen GmbH when the other shareholders quit the Steinzeugwerke. In 1936 Steinzeugwerke Höhr-Grenzhausen GmbH was incorporated into Reinhold Merkelbach."
Walter Müller is not known to have supplied any product via Steinzeugwerke, due to the parlous state of his finances. It is known that he had left the organisation by the
19th January 1912, since this was the publication date of the first Steinzeugwerke catalogue, in which he did not figure.
It has been reported that Reinhold Hanke left the consortium in 1913, leaving only Simon Peter Gerz I and Reinhold Merkelbach. Reinhold Merkelbach’s kilns were at their best producing the "Kölnisch Braun" products, as well as "Braun Geflammte" finishes, whereas the kilns of Simon Peter Gerz I were better suited for the "Blue-Gray" saltglazed finishes. Then Simon Peter Gerz I quit in 1918, leaving only Reinhold Merkelbach with the Steinzeugwerke company. The moulds that had been used by three of the four original contributors stayed with Steinzeugwerke, and effectively became the possession of the firm of Reinhold Merkelbach. It is doubtful whether Walter Müller’s moulds were included in this collection, since nothing was ever produced from them. Walter Müller’s assets were sold to Steinzeug-Industrie G.m.b.H. before 1918. Steinzeugwerke ceased operating in 1921, and was wound up in 1936.
The following designers either indirectly designed the pottery for Steinzeugwerke, or put their decoration on standard pieces:
Rudy Dekker Professor Fritz Hellmuth Ehmcke, Fachschule, Höhr, P.Flötner Gertrude Grashoff, Ludwig Hohlwein, Alfred Kamp Herta Kasten, Charlotte Krause, Professor Albin Camillo Müller, Paul Neu, Professor Adalbert Niemeyer, Wilhelm Ratelbeck, Professor Richard Riemerschmid, Franz Ringer, Paul Wynand,
Reference: Character Steins Character Steins Catalogue MySteinCollection