: Porzellanfabrik Zeh, Scherzer & Co. (1880 until 1910)
The company 'Zeh, Scherzer & Co.' was founded in 1880 and directly started to produce a wide range of pieces including coffee and tea sets, normal household items and tableware as well as decoration porcelain. Items made by the company at a time also caught the eye of the Geo. Borgfeldt & Co. company and during January 1907 and May 1908 'Zeh, Scherzer & Co.' produced a series of items exclusively for the company from New York, based on an agreement between Borgfeldt and Zeh who had met earlier. Being very successful in decoration porcelain, the company opened its own art department in 1908 and next to many other famous designers also Professor Fritz Klee (who later became director of the Königliche Fachschule in Selb) was employed as advisor.
The resulting products were quite spectacular and even today remain a valuable addition to any art deco collection; next to figures of normal human beings, quite a remarkable number of animals and fantasy figures were produced over the years. Based on the ongoing success of the business and the drastic increase in sales after opening the art department, the company was changed into an limited company on October 7th 1910.
 : Porzellanfabrik Zeh, Scherzer & Co. A.G. (1910 until 1992)
After becoming a limited company, the business started to expand gradually as the name of Zeh, Scherzer & Co. established itself on the German market. The design department and the art department had started to work together closely, exchanging ideas and successfully integrating art elements in normal household products. With such trained designers, the design department itself was no longer necessary and was slowly disbanded from 1919 onwards. Some collectors like to point out that this was the geatest period of the company, resulting in some of the most beautiful pieces produced.
It should be noted here that between 1924 and 1935 the company also owned the Porzellanfabrik Elster, which was located in Mühlhausen in Saxony. Even though the proprietors of that factory constantly changed, the marks remained in use relatively stable; the version used during the Zeh, Scherzer & Co. period is shown as Image [2.20] in the marks section below.
The following years saw a constant growth with minor set-backs now and then, but all in all, the company had a high-class reputation and was named together with other famous German manufacturers like Hutschenreuther and Rosenthal. But just like the other porcelain manufacturers in Germany, the company had more and more problems to cope with cheap imports. During this time, the company even reduced its tradename (and mark) to Scherzer & Co. or simply Scherzer 1880, which was easier to pronounce in other countries. But from the middle of the 80's onwards, sales were slowly declining. Up until 1991 the company was still privately owned, but then the majority of shares was taken over by the Allerthal A.G. investment company.
Re-structuring the whole business and trying to prevent the inevitable was not the kind of solution that the Allerthal A.G. had in mind. One thing that hurts most in any limited company are losses for the shareholders and the specialists from the Allerthal A.G. had various predictions for the German porcelain market - and none of them where positive. They instantly informed the other shareholders of a plan to save their money and called for a shareholder meeting. Production was instantly reduced and the company officially stopped production in 1992.
 : Porzellanfabrik Zeh, Scherzer & Co. A.G. (1992 until ...)
After production had been shut down nearly everything of the former porcelain factory was sold and the resulting money was re-invested into the company itself which then started to invest in smaller companies and other real estate operations. Even if the old name is still used by the holding (which is now fully integrated into the Allerthal A.G. investment group) it is unlikely that any piece of porcelain will ever carry the name of Zeh, Scherzer & Co. again.
Some items may carry the an addition in the form of 'FACHLEHRER VEIT', 'ENTWURF VEIT' or 'ENTWURF: WILHELM VEIT STAATL. FACHSCHULE SELB'. These additions refer to the sculptor and modeller Wilhelm Veit, who was one of the main tutors at the senior technical college of the porcelain industry (Fachschule für Porzellanindustrie) in Selb. He created many basic forms for vases as well as various animal figures for the companies of Ph. Rosenthal (Selb, Bavaria), Zeh, Scherzer & Co. (Rehau, Bavaria) and Gräf & Krippner (Selb, Bavaria).
Series name list (incomplete):
- Mignon / "Mignon"
- New York
From the above list the most noteworthy would be the elusive 'GRANUTECO' addition which can also be found on items from different manufacturers. I finally found that 'GRANUTECO' was a brand name and the goods in question had been produced for the trademark owner, the Grand Union Tea Company from Brooklyn, New York.
(Picture by Jennifer Vance)
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(Picture by Janice Feehan)
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