History of Schafer & Vater

Gustav Schaefer and Guenther Vater founded the Schaefer & Vater Porcelain Factory in Volkstedt Rudolstad, Thuringa, Germany in 1890.  Their aim was to make high quality porcelain.

In 1896 the business had sufficiently grown to purchase the List Porcelain Factory at Neuhaus.  By 1910 the American firm of Sears Roebuck & Company had begun to import and distribute Schafer & Vater pottery into the United States.

The aim of Schafer & Vater was to produce a wide range of hard paste porcelain and was to include luxury items, figurines, and dolls' heads.  They also produced soft paste porcelain in bisque items and Majolica and Jasperware were other produce lines. They produced many figural liquor bottles for distribution by pubs.

In 1913 Paul Schafer had taken over from his father and, working alongside Gunther Vater, built up a successful workforce of around 200 people, using 3 kilns. They advertised the manufacture of porcelain dolls' heads.

In 1918 the factory was destroyed by fire and they set up a new factory to resume production.  The firm closed in 1962 and it is reported that in 1972 the East German government assumed full control of the vacant factory and their records and moulds were destroyed.

Schafer & Vater were better known for their comical and figural items.  They manufactured these in teapots, jugs, creamers, bottles, match strikers, and planters, with a backstamp impressed with a crown above an 'R' in a star.  'Made in Germany' was sometimes stamped in black. The firm used a light blue glaze applied directly to the porcelain.

A hallmark of this pottery is the fine texture of the clay used in production. Mined locally, it was rich with kaolin and this resulted in a product with a velvety texture and very fine grain. Schafer and Vater's range was wide. The company was an authorized manufacturer of Rose O'Neill Kewpies

However, certain Schafer & Vater pieces can be found without any stamps or reference to their origin. Connoisseurs will recognize them, though, due to their characteristic and unique craftsmanship and design.


Schafer and Vater, German nippers, giveaways, flasks, creamers, porcelain