In 1871, Bernhard Bloch established a pottery in Eichwald, Bohemia and conducted business under the name B. Bloch & Company. The company was one of the few that continued to produce majolica after World War I. Under the Treaty of Versailles, Czechoslovakia was created from territories of both Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. B. Bloch & Company was renamed Eichwald Porcelain and Stove Factory in 1920. The factory was confiscated by the Nazis during the Second World War. The town of Eichwald is now named Dubi.
Bloch is recognized for production of a large variety of tobacco items known as smoker’s companions or smoke sets. These pieces had integral receptacles for cigars and matches, a roughened area to strike the match and often included an ash tray. Many of these pieces keenly captured the Victorian whimsical sense of humor. Bloch was also unique in producing a number of majolica dishes and wall plaques with erotic themes which was altogether unusual during the Victorian era.
It is unknown whether all B. Bloch majolica was marked. Certainly there are unmarked smoke sets which resemble the style of known Bloch pieces. When marked, Bloch majolica carries an impressed ‘BB’ and sometimes includes ‘Austria’. Production from later years bears the raised marks ‘Eichwald’ and ‘Czechoslovakia’.
Antiques from Trilogy
Philppe Meunier & Juan-Alonso Defrocourt