Large Westerwald Salt Glazed Pot

This large Westerwald pot is 10.5″ from outside handle edge to outside handle edge.  It is 6.5″ tall and weighs 4.5 pounds.  It is in very good condition with no cracks or chips.  The pictures below all link to a large image.  Use your back button to return to this page.  If you are interested in buying this pot, or would like to see what other collectibles we have for sale, follow this link to Our Antique Shop.  (It will open in a new window.)

Large Westerwald Pot IMG_6828

Large Westerwald Pot IMG_6828

It doesn’t matter which side of this pot faces front because both sides have an almost identical white spot where the glaze did not stick well.
How Big is it? IMG_6830

How Big is it? IMG_6830

Just how big is this pot?
End & Handle Decoration IMG_6833

End & Handle Decoration IMG_6833

This pictures shows the handle and end decoration of this pot. Notice it is not the same as the other side.
Salt Glaze Pot Stain IMG_6836

Salt Glaze Pot Stain IMG_6836

This pot has a flat bottom which has been stained by something. It does not wash off so I believe it happened during manufacturing.

Westerwald Stoneware Pot

This attractive little piece of Salt Glazed stoneware is 8 3/4″ in diameter from outer edge of each handle. It’s just under 5″ tall and weighs 3.0 pounds.  I can imagine it being used to bake a pot of beans.

All the pictures below link to a larger image.  Be sure to use your back button to return to this page.  If you close the large picture window you close this page too.

Westerwald Stoneware Pot IMG_6821

Westerwald Stoneware Pot IMG_6821

This side view shows the Cobalt Blue decorative glaze which has been applied to the post. This side would be the side you face to the front of the display because there are no manufacturing defects or other issues.
Westerwald Jug to scale IMG_6820

Westerwald Jug to scale IMG_6820

Since it’s hard to visualize the size of something in a picture I included something everyone will recognize to help. This picture also shows how the Cobalt Blue glaze is used on the handle as well as under it.
Salt glazed Stoneware Pot IMG_6823

Salt glazed Stoneware Pot IMG_6823

The other side of the pot has some easily seen manufacturing marks on the lower left and a less obvious one toward the upper right. Nether is damage, they are just the usual issues with this kind of collectible.
Manufacturers Defect in Glaze IMG_6825

Manufacturers Defect in Glaze IMG_6825

This is the most obvious defect in the glaze on this pot. It is smooth to the touch so perhaps another piece of pottery in the kiln was touching it during firing with this result.
Stoneware Base No Mark IMG_6824

Stoneware Base No Mark IMG_6824

I can’t see any makers mark(s) on the very flat bottom of this piece. I don’t know the significance, if any, of the oval ridge pattern. Leave me a comment if you do.
Westerwald Stoneware Hairline Cracks IMG_6827

Westerwald Stoneware Hairline Cracks IMG_6827

In this closeup of the inside of this pot you can see a variety of hairline cracks. None of them go through to the outside so I believe the integrity of the pot, as far as holding liquids, is intact. In terms of food storage, I am not sure I would want to store anything that spoiled easily because bacteria hiding in the cracks would be hard to kill.

Westerwald Stoneware Jug

This Westerwald jug is 8″ tall, and 8″ from handle edge to  handle edge.  It weighs 5.0 pounds. The lovely piece of pottery is for sale at Our Antique Shop.  Clicking this link will open a new window at the Antique Shop.  You can just close it to return to this page.

Westerwald Stoneware Jug IMG_6844

Westerwald Stoneware Jug IMG_6844

It’s hard to judge size when looking at pictures, so this photo includes something everyone will recognize to help get a feel for the size of this item.
Westerwald Stoneware Jug IMG_6841

Westerwald Stoneware Jug IMG_6841

This is the best side of this particular jug. I would suggest the design is probably a rose or tulip lying on it’s side. This is a classic example of a salt glazed vessel. The grey salt glaze is NOT smooth to the touch, which is typical.
Westerwald Stoneware Jug IMG_6845

Westerwald Stoneware Jug IMG_6845

The back side of this jug is not quite as nice as the other side. You can see the dark brown glaze drip. Just to the right of the drip is a white place where the glaze didn’t adhere leaving a rough white spot. The upper edge of the white area is Very sharp to the touch.

My understanding from researching the process by which these stoneware items were made is a brown color could be made by painting an iron containing slip onto the unfired clay. The items being fired were also packed tightly into the kiln. So I can imagine a drip from another item being fired might be the cause of the brown drip. Maybe the white area was where this jug rested against another item and the glaze didn’t reach it?

Defects Close up IMG_6846

Defects Close up IMG_6846

Defects Close up IMG_6846
Stoneware handle detail IMG_6849

Stoneware handle detail IMG_6849

This closeup shows the cobalt blue glazed handle detail as well as the scribed mark below it. That might be a 4, or it could be a triangle. I have no idea what, if anything it means. Please leave a comment if you do.
Concave jug base IMG_6853

Concave jug base IMG_6853

This picture shows the base of the jug and I can’t see any sign of a mark. So there is no help knowing it’s age or provenance.
Concave Stoneware Jug Bottom IMG_6854

Concave Stoneware Jug Bottom IMG_6854

This picture does a slightly better job at showing the concave base of this jug. This is unusual. All the other Westerwald pieces we have have flat bottoms.

Westerwald terms you need to know.

Salt Glaze: Westerwald stoneware was fired at about 1,250 degrees Centigrade which is very hot.  At that temperature regular table salt vaporizes.  The vaporized sodium from the salt forms a flux with the surface of the clay and the result is a glazed surface.   If you want to get a feel for the salt glaze process and how it can be adjusted to produce a range of results you should visit this site.  It will open in a new window which you can close to return to this page.

Cone 10: The temperature in a kiln has a major impact on the results of a firing.  Good quality control and consistency requires the potter to know what temperature is needed and if and when his kiln has reached that temperature.  I was surprised to learn that several companies actually sell clay “cones” that will soften with heat and bend over when a certain temperature is reached.

Westerwald: is a part of Germany which is described more completely in Wikipedia.  The use of local clay for manufacture of pottery has been established for hundreds of years.

Cobalt Blue Glaze: The generic version of Westerwald stoneware will have a grey background decorated with a bright blue.  The blue is the result of a Cobalt Blue Glaze and is applied in a two step process.  The clay article is first heated to about 900 Centigrade and salt glazed.  It is allowed to cool and a cobalt blue glaze is applied.  It is then re-fired at 1,200+ degrees to create the finished stoneware.

Westerwald Stoneware on Ebay

Completed Ebay auctions are the best source of information about the current, real world, value of antiques and collectibles.  However, determining accurate values takes some effort.

When I was researching this post there were 56 items listed for a search of “Westerwald”.  Some of these were postcards with pictures of the Westerwald region of Germany.  Eliminating those still left a wide variety of items that were alleged to be Westerwald stoneware.  It’s obvious many sellers know little or nothing about what they are selling.  They use words in the title they think will attract buyers without much concern for accuracy or appropriateness.  If you plan to use the results of their sales to identify and value your own pieces, you will need to do some careful research.

The words “Westerwald Stoneware”, “Westerwald Pottery”, “Salt Glaze”, “Stoneware”, and “Cone 10”  all get used in imprecise ways because sellers don’t really know what they mean.  We bought some Westerwald stoneware from a seller in Germany and my notions of what it should look like are based on those pieces.  It turns out we do not have a representative sample so my  ideas needed to change.

To begin your education about Westerwald stoneware keep in mind that salt glazed earthenware with cobalt blue decoration was made in Germany starting in the 1400’s.  It was both imported to and made locally in New England, USA as early as the 1600’s.

Much of it was what might be called Utilityware.  It was made to be used to hold products such as fermenting cabbage (Sauerkraut).  These pieces had minimal decoration.  They were made to be cheap and functional.  No one bothered much about makers marks or logos on this cheap stuff, so it can be very hard to tell much about origin and age just by looking at these pieces.

Some of it was crafted as Displayware.  These pieces had assorted designs scribed onto them.  Many have a three dimensional aspect with grapes and other design motifs raised above the surface of the vessel.  They were decorated with Cobalt Blue glaze in artistic ways.  With the grey background and the bright blue highlights these vessels look very nice when displayed in a natural wood cabinet.

Westerwald Stoneware – Salt Glazed

This is a test post to see if the auction code links are working properly.
[phpbay]westerwald, 5, “”, “”[/phpbay]

There should be five listings of Westerwald Stoneware for sale.