Exceptional Art deco Pitcher from Reinhold Merkelbach in an unusual brushed & textured salt glaze finish.
Shape not unlike those of Wim Mühlendyck's design, very similar in body, same ribbed neck and dipped swung handle. Stoneware manufacturer's were highly competitive, often copying new designs in order to gain market popularity, either this is Merkelbach's answer to Mühlendyck or the other way around. :)
Either way, this is an absolutely stunning Jug, in exquisite condition with absolutely no flaws whatsoever. Very heavy, thick walled, firm fitting lid and fully marked at the bottom with the Merkelbach stamp used from 1936 onwards, most likely year of manufacture ~1940, when the popularity of colourful drip glazes gave way to more respectable looking brown, a colour which dominated the 1940s.
However, during the war years of 1944/45 there was virtually no production of stoneware due to bombing and drafting of the last available men. Materials were scare in 1946 and what was produced was plain & functional to fulfill the need for basics, with no room for artistic expression or experimentation. Therefore I would firmly place this piece between 1936-1943.
Measuring 28 cm tall up to lid lever (22 cm without) and approx. 18 cm belly diameter
No internal capacity is given, but it holds between 2.5 - 3 liters, quite a large Jug.
In mint condition and perfectly suited for every day use, this solid piece proves that brown does not equal boring, quite the opposite, it's more stunning than some of the colourful drip glazes of the 1930s., a true beauty.