Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mid-century Altenkunstadt decanters

For a few years now I've been collecting a series of porcelain decanters which were made in West Germany during the 1960s* by a German factory called "Altenkunstadt". I've been surprised by how unknown they seem to be, but this has at least given me chance to gather quite a few! Although I'm sure there are more out there that I haven't discovered yet, I feel now is the time to share my collection with you. Pictured are three of my favourites.

As well as several other figural bottles, I also have one decorated with birds in a cage, one showing a bar scene and one showing a lady peeping out of a shower! My husband doesn't like them and thinks I'm potty for loving them so much, but I think they are fabulous. I will try to photograph them all, and then add the images to a special Flickr set, which I've set up here.

Altenkunstadt made other things as well as porcelain bottles, such as vases (some of which were designed by Cari Zalloni) and candlesticks like the one shown, which was decorated by a German illustrator called Susanne Dölker. I wonder if she also decorated the decanters. Jutta Lamprecht also produced illustrations for the company. The decanters were distributed in the US by Raymor, and they still have the Raymor sticker on the base. Some came with bath salts inside, others perhaps with alcohol? If anyone out there can tell me any more about these pieces I'd love to hear from you!

*Thank you so much to Larry, who has confirmed that he bought one in Germany in 1962/63, which gives me some concrete evidence of when they were produced!


  1. These are great, I haven't seen them before. But I have a thing for other ceramics with faces and have just this minute blogged about more..

  2. these are fab! not seen them before either and I also love anthropomorphic pots! will check out the flickr site....

  3. Don't worry Emma - I think they're lovely!

    I've never actually seen these in the flesh, so please, please share photos of your others!

    I'm sure there's someone on these two pottery forums that could give you more info:

  4. Thank you! It would be great to solve the mystery. Glad you like them too!

    I will definitely photograph the others for you ASAP. They're just quite tricky to photograph with white on white... I'm sure you know what I mean.

  5. Sorry everyone - more photos will follow but with the house move I just haven't had time! (Plus I can't remember which box they're in!)

  6. I have four liquor decanters of you're interested dancti at yahoo

  7. I found one up your alley! it is the pirate-like character with an eye patch, gun, knife, and coin pouches tied around a make-shift rope belt ;) INTERESTED?

    1. mint! cork is complete, no chips, cracks, NOTHING.

  8. Thanks for thinking of me but I already have that one. Best wishes

  9. Hello Emma,
    I have the women... one do you have it?