Concurrences on all fronts

“Baaren” with 3 shields

Together with the fall of the Roman Empire and the migration of peoples, a large portion of ceramic technology got lost. This was highly developed by the Romans. One of the early centres of pottery that emerged after that time in the Rheinland was Langerwehe. From the 11th / 12th century on, ceramics was being produced here.

Since the 14th century, also stoneware was produced in Langerwehe. However, the Langerwehe potters restricted themselves to the production of simple kitchenware. The Langerwehe “Baaren” are well-known. Those are large storing pots with a big rim in which vegetables, sauerkraut, pickled eggs or other supplies were stored. They were also used as butter churns. Some of these “Baaren” were decorated with shields. They are therefore called “shield-Baaren”.

Baroque in grey-blue

Around the year 1590, some of the Raeren potters emigrated to the Westerwald (Germany). It is likely that at this time the rivalry in Raeren was big. Together with the Siegburg potters of the Knütgen family and the Alsace potters of the Remy family they founded the stoneware pottery there. Many of the Raeren family names are still present in the Westerwald today. The Westerwald stoneware is mostly grey-blue and came to its full flourishing during the baroque in the 17th century while the other stoneware centres had more and more economic difficulties. Still today, traditional stoneware is
produced in the Westerwald.


The biggest rivals of the Raeren potters were the Siegburg "Ulner" (potters). Already from the 14th century on, fired stoneware with wavy feet was produced there. From the very beginning, the Siegburg potters were supported and patronised by the powerful abbey of the town. The closeness to Cologne as important trading place was another advantage that helped Siegburg to an early flourishing. The Siegburg clay contains a high portion of kaolin and is therefore very fine-grained and white firing. In the 16th century, the Siegburg potters produced richly decorated vessels. The most popular form was the “Schnelle” (tankard). The Siegburg stoneware was not covered with salt glaze.

It would have hidden the fine lines of the decoration. Possible shine on Siegburg ceramics comes from the salts in the ashes. The Siegburg pottery craft dies already out at the beginning of the 17th century.

Bearded-men with tiger glaze

From the middle of the 15th century on, salt-glazed stoneware was also produced in Cologne. The Cologne potters were submitted to the influence of the distinguished Cologne art of the Gothic and the Renaissance. Very early, they already produced decorated show pieces of kitchenware.

Around the middle of the 16th century, the stoneware potters were banished from town because of the high danger of fire coming from their kilns. They emigrated to Frechen where they continued producing. The most popular motif on Cologne and Frechen stoneware was the bearded-men mask in many different variations. Acanthus leaves and narrow text ribbons are common. The Cologne-Frechen stoneware is mostly brown. It can be distinguished from the Raeren products mostly through its forms and the tiger salt glaze coming from the applying of special engobes.