Medieval Themed Porcelain Chessmen.
A set of Medieval Themed Porcelain Chessmen, fired in the Wagner and Apel factory in Lippelsdorf, Thuringia, Germany. The pieces are cast from hard paste-porcelain and fired in blue and brown with 18K gold gilt crowns on the Kings and Queens. The corpulent King stands 4-1/2″ tall with a 2-1/2″ diameter bas and probably represents Henry VIII. The pieces are hand-painted and rest atop green felt base pads.
The pieces play and display best on a chessboard with 2-1/2″ squares. The chessboard shown is not included in this sale, but a suitable chessboard can be found here. The chessmen are as new. Each of the pieces bear the blue W&H factory mark. The pieces date to not later than 1970, after which the factory was nationalized, and its name changed to VEB.
Wagner & Apel Porzellan (Wagner & Apel Porcelain) is a porcelain manufacturer in the small town of Lippelsdorf in the Thuringian Forest. This is the factory which, in 1877 was founded in Lippelsdorf with the name of “KUCH & Co.”. One of the founders was Bernhard Wagner. Since 1901, the owner Bernhard Wagner as well as Anton and Bernhard Apel operated under the name, “Wagner & Apel”. Lippelsdorf porcelain made its name the world over.
The factory continued from generation to generation until 1972, when the East German company was completely nationalized and reformed under the name of “Porcelain Figurines VEB ”. Four years later all the porcelain factories in the area were merged to become “VEB (United Animal Porcelain Works of Lichte VEB ). Lippelsdorf then was assigned its own Production Department of the Gräfenthal State Company, losing all its independence as well as the power to make its own decisions. After the political changes, the descendants of Bernhard Wagner, Ingeborg Seibert and Helga Koch, requested the re-privatization of the factory, which then went into private ownership on 1 July 1990. The current shareholders of the limited liability company are Ingeborg Seibert and Helga Koch, with Hans-Heinrich Seibert as the Managing Director.