Mittelstraße 7 & 10, Höhr. Hesse-Nassau, Prussia. (now Höhr-Grenzhausen, Rhineland Palatinate).
Steinzeugfabrik / Stoneware manufacturer
Johann Wilhelm Remy, born in Höhr Germany in February 1833, was from a long line of pottery manufacturers of the area. He founded his company at Mittelstrasse 7 in 1860, producing hand-turned salt glazed designs in a wood-fired kiln. Sons August Wilhelm and Franz Jakob received training at the Königliche Fachschule Höhr in the early 1880s. They were taught new design and manufacturing techniques initially in the Historismus or Historical Revival style. Around 1890 the factory began to focus on modern (for those days) life. These designs included many tavern and outdoor scenes that were often based on the artistry of popular artists of the time.
Around 1890, J.W. Remy formed an alliance with his son-in-law Karl Thewalt to build a coal-briquette-fired round kiln on the Thewalt property nearby. The products from this kiln utilized a recently developed process with a lower firing temperature that provided brighter colors than was possible with salt glaze firing. It required dipping a stein into a glaze slip prior to firing. The resulting fired clay was cream colored leading to the name of ivory stoneware or Elfenbeinsteinzeug. Between 1903 and 1909 the industry was heavily influenced by the Jugendstil styles of Henry Van der Velde, Peter Behrens, Karl Görig & Albin Muller, and others. It should be noted that a few designs were purchased by J. W. Remy although there is no evidence from whom those designs were acquired. In 1909, at the Wiesbaden Exhibition, J. W. Remy launched its etched "Reetmachte" or scratch-incised designs of which most collectors have not encountered.
It is assumed that August and Franz had been operating the company when J. W. Remy died in 1911 at age 78. August was the primary artist and Franz may have focused on the business aspects. In 1928 disaster hit the company. Both brothers, unmarried and without children, unexpectedly died. Upon their deaths, factory control passed to the sons of their sister Robert, August, and Karl Kessler. During the ensuing period the company struggled for survival and introduced kitchen wares with high color decorations to provide a new revenue source.
Through WWII the factory produced only utilitarian and war-related wares. In 1942 the original salt glaze kiln was abandoned leaving ivory stoneware as the remaining firing technology. In the late 1940s the company reactivated many of the old moulds which had been in storage since before the war. It began to reintroduce many of the old designs enabling production to expand and employing up to 35 employees. However in 1959 and 1965, Karl and August respectively passed. In 1966 Robert himself in poor health shuttered the business. Further operation was no longer viable for two other reasons: none of the owners’ children were continuing in the business, and the factory location in the centre of Höhr prohibited any expansion of the physical plant. The buildings were soon demolished to allow for expansion of the downtown street system. Many of the moulds were sold to other local stoneware manufacturers accounting for confusion of many later steins having the characteristics of J. W. Remy steins although made by another company.
N.B. J.W.Remy was the brother of Simon Peter Remy of Marzi & Remy. Karl Thewalt was the son of Johann Peter Thewalt, the owner of the factory and logo JPT, founded in 1852.
Reference: Lyn Ayres Character Steins Capacity Marks Twisted Vine Handles Westerwald Adressbuch Character Steins Catalogue MySteinCollection.com
Reference: Remy Family 1, Remy Family 2