Teapots, teapots, teapots … our estate sale in Sunnyvale tomorrow is absolutely bubbling over with teapots! After discovering these fun and decorative animal porcelain teapots I have learned that all are not created equal. I am featuring these highly collectible German import Erphila teapots because they are adorable, super kitschy, and will look perfect on any mantle or bookshelf!
History of Erphila Teapots
In 1886 porcelain and china manufacturer John Zeh met a pair of German emigrants named Theodore Ebeling and Frederick Reuss. At the time Zeh was exporting porcelain to the United States from many European countries like Czechoslovakia and Germany, and with the help of Ebeling and Reuss the company expanded to include dinnerware and gift items. In 1900 Zeh took leave and the company was renamed Ebeling & Reuss Co. In that same year the company relocated to Devon, Pennsylvania.
After moving to the United States the porcelain import business grew at a rapid pace, servicing many shops in the Northeastern United States. In the 1920’s Ebeling & Reuss Co began importing teapots from Czechoslovakia and Germany. The company named the import line Erphila, combining the letters “E” and “R” from Ebeling & Reuss. The teapots featured in this blog post originated in the 1920-30’s. After nearly a century the company Ebeling & Reuss Co still thrives in Pennsylvania and continues to import porcelain, china, and pottery giftware.
How to Determine the Age of Erphila Teapots
Between the 1920-50’s there was a surge of porcelain teapot production and importing into the United States. All of the teapots by Erphila are stamped with the company logo and country of origin (Germany is the most common for teapots). The logo style varies depending on the teapot production era and is the best source for determining the age of the piece. In the 1920-30’s the stamp looked like the image on the far left. During WWII the stamp read “Made in US Zone Germany”. And in the 1940’s-1950’s the logo changed to a green stamp with the logo as above. All Erphila teapots also include a style number, for example the above daschund dog teapot is stamped 6703B.
What Are Pieces Worth?
Teapots like the daschund, french poodle and majolica pig featured in this post are very collectible among teapot and decorative porcelain enthusiasts. But what makes them valuable? Age and condition are the two most important factors. These three featured teapots would have originated between the 1920-50’s. Each of these vintage teapots are coveted because of their rarity (order of rarity: french poodle, majolica pig, daschund). But why are they rare? Like most vintage porcelain it is nearly impossible to find a piece that isn’t minimally chipped or feeling the affect of crazing (fine cracks that appear in the glazing). Erphila animal teapots with minimal crazing sell on sites like eBay between $40-$80. While doing my research I discovered two extremely rare pieces from the 1920’s in pristine condition selling for over $200 by antique dealers. But I say forget about resale value, these will look fantastic on your mantle or book shelf!
Are You A Collector or Enthusiast?
Check out the Kuzak’s Closet blog post for all of the details about our estate sale Friday and Saturday in Sunnyvale – filled with a lifetime of collections including teapots in all shapes and sizes!
Taylor House is a professional organizer at Kuzak’s Closet who also assists with estate sales. Taylor loves history, popular culture and has a passion for everything relating to California, the 1980’s, art, design, books, music and pretty much anything that strikes her fancy in the moment.