#14 Punch bowl, form 3734, dec.6264, Villeroy & Boch, Mettlach, ca.1930. Green mfr. Mettlach, Made in Saar-Basin 6264; Blind 3734 CV 21; 20.5 cm H without lid, 17.7 cm opening, 18.7 cm base Ø. RM1000


German Spritzdekor Ceramics, 1928-1936:  A Degenerate Art

Selections from the Collection of Maral and Rolf Achilles


Spritzdekor designs demanded great skill. The number of designs produced by some 95 manufacturers was countless. Designs could be sprayed directly on a surface or precisely stenciled in various sizes and colors on flat or curved surf, and around edges, all in perfect proportion. A combination of free form and stencil was also common. Various techniques can be seen in the collection. Colors were applied either under or atop a clear glaze. Glazes were extremely thin and hard. The bodies were cast in a mold. Not all manufacturers marked their pieces. Most did.

The form’s number was often, but not always, blind stamped directly into the base of the object as it was cast. Sometimes the manufacturer’s mark and other numbers were blind stamped into the base, also. Sometimes the form number was ink stamped on the base. The manufacturer’s mark and decoration number were commonly ink stamped on the base or underside.

Designs were often inspired by trending art movements of the previous decade such as Suprematism, founded by Kasimir Malevich, a Russian painter, used basic geometric forms such as squares, lines, circles, and rectangles. These were painted in a limited range of colors. Malevich clearly stated the core concept in his book, The Non-Objective World, published in 1927 in Munich as Bauhaus Book No. 11: “To the Suprematist, the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves meaningless; the significant thing is feeling, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth.” Inspiration also came from several other Soviet Era artists such as El Lissitsky, Lyubov Popova, and Alexander Rodchenko, and from the Bauhaus in Weimar and then Dessau where Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy were active teachers and artists. Paintings and textiles by Sonia Delaunay from Paris also served as inspiration, as did the works of many other artists today mostly forgotten.  


Rolf Achilles