The process of enameling likely began with ancient Egypt & China. Germany began enameling over metal in the 1760s in order to improve common kitchenware. Soon, mills in other European countries began to develop and master their own enameling techniques. Austria, France, Belgium, and England were great contributors. However, Germany was the European country that continually produced the largest amount of household enameled ware throughout the 1800s & 1900s. The enameling trend carried overseas to the United States. A large amount of European enameled ware was exported to the States. In addition, several U.S. companies thrived, as early as the 1850s, due to their own production of enameled ware.
Various hand painted, raised and decal designs:
Unusual: Trophy goblet, knife rests, personalized wedding mug, German knife basket, & personalized milk carrier:
The enameling process required several steps and, in the beginning, most of the work was done by hand. The metal had to be cut. Then the metal had to be cleaned and prepared for the glaze. Handles and spouts had to be formed and attached by either riveting (early pieces) or welding. The enamel glaze, known as 'frit', would have to be mixed and made ready for the dipping process. Pieces needed at least one coating of glaze, often more. The dipping would be done by hand, with a dipping tool, or by machine.
It was typical in 19th century Europe for common household items to be manufactured with a great deal of adornment and beauty in mind. Flowers, birds, butterflies, landscapes, and other creations of nature were often the key subjects of early enameled ware pieces. Many of the European pieces from the mid to late 1800s were hand-painted by skilled artists. As time went by, decals and stencils were often applied.
Art nouveau stylized pitchers, unusual-shaped French pitcher w/ hinged lid, German teapot w/ raised floral design, rare 'Germaine' napkin ring, and a French ca. 1880, hand painted plate:
Just some of the well-known and respected manufacturers of European enameled ware are: Schweizer & Sons (Germany), Leopold & Co. (France), Yssel (Netherlands), Riess Bros. (Austria), Saint Servais (Belgium), Bing Werke (Germany), Nahrath Co. (Germany), Japy Freres & Co. (France), David Moll Factory (Belgium), B.K. Emaile (Netherlands), Becker & Buchardi (Germany), LUC (France), Annweiler (Germany), Emailleries du Loiret (France), CNEB (Belgium), Aubeco (Belgium), & Baumann (Germany).
Rare: Personalized napkin ring & miniature, opera-themed portraits:
The items pictured are typical of our inventory. If you see an item of interest, or have an item to sell, please inquire.
Czechoslovakian coffee set & salt box:
Rare: Vanity cabinet with enameled ware plate:
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