PM&M / Germany / Bavaria :

Schlottenhof

In 1854 Christian Friedrich Seltmann (*1824 +1901) together with his wife Margaretha Barbara (maiden name Menzel, *1836 +1909) who both came from the town of Breitenbrunn in Saxony settled in the small town of Schlottenhof near Arzberg and the same year opened a combined small pottery and porcelain decoration studio.

A few translators have tried to explain the former occupation of C.F. Seltmann and failed miserably as the original German term of his profession was 'Kunstwiesenbauer', a term that does not describe a farmer or even a manufacturer of artificial lawns (don't laugh, I've seen it all!) so please understand that I want to explain it here once and for all. The profession of a Kunstwiesenbauer itself has long disappeared but it was vital for the agriculture in some areas of Germany at that time. Kunst in this context is 'artificial'; the term wiese must be translated as 'meadow' and the term bauer stands for 'builder'. With other words, he was involved in cultivating otherwise barren areas by influencing the natural water household in these areas through canals and aqueducts as well as drains and water pipes. This of course explains how the family came to pottery as the Kunstwiesenbauer was a specialist that had to make his own materials according to local requirements.

Anyway, the small business proved fairly successful and over the next years the Seltman family slowly grew and finally had nine children:

Three of these are of further interest as they all were actively involved in the porcelain and pottery business: Johann (1856), Karl (1858) and finally Christian Wilhelm who was born in 1870. Even if Johann and Christian went on to found the ⇒Porzellanfabrik Johann Seltmann together and Christian later founded the ⇒Porzellanfabrik Christian Seltmann G.m.b.H. on his own, it was actually Karl that opened business first.

[1] : Porzellanfabrik L. Künzel (1895 until 1897)

The first large porcelain factory located in Schlottenhof was originally founded by L. Künzel in 1895, but seen overall was not very successful right from the start. Karl Seltmann had collected lots of experience with different materials during the work for his father and now saw his chance to put his own ideas regarding fine-grained ceramics into action, so he took over the factory in 1897.

[2] : Keramik- und Porzellanfabrik Karl Seltmann (1897 until 1934)

Under new management the factory started to concentrate on kitchenware and slowly expanded. The business soon had a good reputation and was very successful in its area of interest and while it already employed around 100 workers in 1904 it continued to grow until it reached the number of 150 workers in 1909. Shortly before his death in 1927, Karl Seltmann left the factory in the hands of his son-in-laws Detlev and Gräf who continued working on the same products. Shortly after the stock market crash in 1929 the business ran into financial problems which resulted in a complete closure of the factory in early 1932. On June 1st 1932 the factory with all assets was taken over by the savings bank of Thiersheim which kept business running until it was approached by Fritz Hilburger and Alois Greger. The two former employees of the factory in Weiden-Ullersricht fully purchased the factory in 1934 and dropped its old name.

[3] : Porzellanfabrik Schlottenhof G.m.b.H. (1934 until 1964)

The new proprietors decided to change the product range and added decorational plates, vases and ceramic storage containers. The different items produced now enabled the company to cover more areas of demand and business recovered steadily. It is reported that the factory employed around 155 people in 1949 and business seems to have been quite good as a number of 200 workers was recorded for 1954. But over time it became obvious that not reinvesting in modern machinery or repairs had been a fatal decision as the factory slowly degraded until it was too late; the business was forced to close down in September 1964.

Marks

schlottenhof-01-01
Image 2-01
Simple version of the normal Schlottenhof mark without any additions.
schlottenhof-01-02
Image 2-02
Same type as before but this time with '⇒HANDGEMALT' addition.
schlottenhof-01-03
Image 2-03
Basic mark with 'SCHLOTTENHOF' addition, found either in green or gold. This mark type was registered in 1928.
schlottenhof-01-04
Image 2-04
A red version with 'MADE IN GERMANY' addition.
schlottenhof-01-05
Image 2-05
A greenish version with 'MADE IN GERMANY' addition.
schlottenhof-01-06
Image 3-06
Used between 1945 and 1949. Note the 'U.S. ZONE' addition and that there is only a single line (gold appears black due to angle).
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Image 3-07
Used between 1945 and 1949, another one in gold.
(Picture by Fran Kerbs)
schlottenhof-01-08
Image 3-08
Used between 1945 and 1949, here in green.
(Picture by Fran Kerbs)
schlottenhof-01-09
Image 3-09
Used between 1945 and 1949, a later version which also shows 'U.S. ZONE' but instead of a single wavy line includes a 'MADE IN GERMANY' addition.
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Image 3-10
Used around 1950, 'the 'SCHLOTTENHOF' text still curved above the lion but no line and only with 'BAVARIA' underneath.
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Image 3-11
Newer version of the mark showing 'SCHLOTTENHOF ARZBERG' in a brownish-green.
(Picture by Jacqueline Kacprzak)
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Image 3-12
Newer version of the mark showing 'SCHLOTTENHOF ARZBERG'.
(Picture by Fran Kerbs)
schlottenhof-01-13
Image 3-13
Same as before but showing 'SCHLOTTENHOF ARZBERG' with 'HANDGEMALT'.
(Picture by Fran Kerbs)
schlottenhof-01-14
Image 3-14
Same as before but instead of 'HANDGEMALT' it shows the series name 'KÖNIGIN LUISE'.
schlottenhof-01-15
Image 3-15
Same basic mark as before but this time showing the 'RHEINGOLD' series name above 'HANDGEMALT'.
schlottenhof-01-16
Image 3-16
The last version used by the company, 'SCHLOTTENHOF ARZBERG' underneath a single straight line.
schlottenhof-01-17
Image 3-17
Same as before only with 'HANDGEMALT' addition.
(Picture by Fran Kerbs)
schlottenhof-01-18
Image 3-18
This and the previous mark are normally found on pendants.
(Picture by Meintje Eyzenga)

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