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Langnau Charger 1763

Langnau Charger 1763

Langnau Keramik Teller dated 1763 Switzerland

14.03.2016 – 18:17

Rare Langnau Charger...Langnau Teller 1763


Travels through Switzerland and the right timing one finds small treasures that are mainly found in museums or in the hands of very few high end collectors.

This can be said of the ceramic Charger shown on the right.

Langnau is in the Canton of Bern and here in the early 1700s a studio which is traced back to the name Abraham Herrman and then his decendants. They tended their lands during the day and thereafter went into their shed/studio and created these rather naive but charming ceramics. The men threw the forms and perhaps with the woman the designs, thereafter the ladies painted them with steady hands. Here it is interesting to note that the script of these ceramics were done by the men as up till then woman were not educated to write yet were able to read. The story goes that they would uphold the family traditions and morals and therefore they read the bible daily.

The Chargers of this ilk known as *spruchteller* (telling a story) were designed as gifts or commemerative wares. Mostly for newly weds with both names and then with a moral line. Early examples have no signature / initials and no other markings.


There is scant information on the exact facts as to who and when these ceramics were created with exception of the dated pieces. The other pieces of the same design and clay could be said to be that of the same group or hand of the Langnauer potters. Bearing in mind that these were peoples who were simple living folks, in the nicest way and with respect, who produced, if termed by todays standards, giftware for their friends and family and further afield to those who had heard of the new kid on block and his creative gems.

The colors at the time were rather limited as can be seen on the charger and much later new techniques allowed them to expand their palettes. So in identifying these works one has to know the type of clay used as well as the scope of the limited colors.

Reference book . Berner Heimatbücher by Robert l.Wyss...Last printed 1966

Verlag Paul Haupt Bern

A liitle bird told me that within the next year or so a fully detailed and well researched book covering this subject will hit the shelves. Full of colored pictures taken from museums and very private collections. New evidence shows that some of the items listed in collections and museums were incorrectly listed as Langnau.

So the jury is still out and all will be a new revelation on Swiss ceramics once again. I have been living here for 11 years and have difficulty in finding good detailed books covering Swiss ceramics....well unless i visit all the museums and even then there is not much written. Yet i delight in finding the weird and wonderful and with the help of a small number of unselfish people we seem to piece together a good body of knowledge with signatures, dates and most importantly images.

Modern ceramics also take a large part of my time and these seem to pop up quite frequently and there is a growing awareness of the Swiss ceramic heritage touching new comers and collectors. Ten years ago i would pay pittance for these and today the prices have skyrockted..........

My next posting will be another charger but from the Hispano Moresque gendre dating back to 15/16th century. This was a find after a visit to my favorite local charity shop. Dumped on the bottom shelf amoungst the trashy stuff!