Eckhardt & Engler was established in 1898 in the Westerwald town of Höhr, and initially operated as a wholesaling company. Starting in 1907, they acted as the marketing agent for the firm Rosskopf & Gerz. Their first kiln was installed in 1914. About 1918, they purchased some of Rosskopf & Gerz’s molds and starting producing the steins themselves. By 1923, Eckhardt & Engler purchased the balance of the Rosskopf & Gerz molds. Eckhardt & Engler lasted into the 1950s when they sold some of their molds to the firm of Werner Corzelius.
Eckhardt & Engler produced character steins from the same molds both before and after World War II. It is often difficult to determine the manufacturing date of some of their figurals. The quality of the decoration plays a large part in determining age. Eckhardt & Engler generally used more care in decorating their earlier figurals, but sometimes it is impossible to tell the difference between a figural made in the 1920s and one made in the 1950s. The quality of the stein depends on the quality of the decoration, not when the piece was produced. Production was severly limited during the years between the Depression and World War II. So dating these steins for the purposes of this book was a difficult task. Often differences cannot be discerned from a photograph. There are instances when age cannot be accurately determined even after handling a stein. When the words Made in Western Germany are incised into the base it can be assumed that the stein was made after World War II.
Eckhardt & Engler only used cream stoneware in manufacturing their character steins. They were also hand-painted.
PEWTER LID RIMS
Most of the figurals made by Eckhardt & Engler were made without any lid rims. The only exceptions seen so far are the Barrel (#__) and the Munich Child (#___). These same characters were made later without lid rims.
When Eckhardt & Engler distributed character steins for Rosskopf & Gerz, they naturally used the mold numbers assigned to the pieces. As Eckhardt & Engler started producing these steins, they often used the same mold numbers. These mold numbers are always three digits in the 400, 500, or 600 range. All but three are in the 400 range. On the Society Student Head (#___) the mold number also appears on the stein body. The correct mold number is not always present. Some figurals have the Eckhardt & Engler mark and an incised 17. This combination is found only on early (older) steins, and the mark is always the same even on different character steins.
Eckhardt & Engler sometimes did mark their stein bases. This mark resembles double Es back-to-back over an H (see figure__).
|421||Monkey Holding Stein & Radishes|
|427||Man's Head Smoking Cigar|
|428||Man's Head Wearing Nightcap|