In October, 1949, the German Democratic Republic was founded. The new East German government instructed companies to replace the marks used "Made in Germany" with "Made in GDR" or "Made in German Democratic Republic". The West German makers began marking their products with "Made in W.-Germany" or "Made in West Germany". In October, 1989, there was the fall of the German Democratic Republic. All the companies began using "Made in Germany" again. Therefore, if you see an item marked "Made in West Germany" or "Made in German Democratic Republic", it was made between October, 1949 and October 1989.
There are several German manufacturing companies, but I will concentrate on one; Gerold Porzellan. Although it has a short history, comparatively speaking, it produced over 10,000 products. The majority of the products it produced were for household use. Many of the workers were some of the best artisans in Europe, which included Nymphenburg and Meissen.
From 1937-1960 it was known as The Gerold & Company, Tettau, Bavaria. Then, in 1960, it was changed to Porcelain Factory Gerold & Company. In 1993, the name was changed again to New Porcelain Company, Ltd. It has since gone out of business (1997) and the facility was purchased by Lindner Porzellan. Some of the current employees are former employees of the old Gerold Porzellan. The facility in Tettau is now a museum and is open for tours.
One of the items Gerold produced was figurines. Some have the look of Lladro, while others Hummel. They have the coloring of Lladro; muted blues, grays, pink, and green. A small number of the figurines are made with a matte finish.
There are some that were colorfully hand-painted, which were to be a competition to Hummel.
Heinrich & Co.
Herwig & Co.
Gebruder Heubach - Famous for their porcelain doll heads and piano babies
Goebel - Known for its figurines, especially Hummel
C. M. Hutschenreuther - 1814 - 1969
Konigliche Porzellan Manfaktur - 1823- 1847 - Known by the mark "KPM". Beware of fakes from China, marked "KPM" with a crowned eagle. The original mark is: "KPM" sometimes with a crowned eagle WITH a scepter.
Meissen - Royal Saxon Porcelain Works - Marks with the famous crossed swords. It is often called "Dresdenware" due to the close proximity to Dresden.
On August 23, 1887, the British Parliament passed the "Merchandise Act". It required all German goods be marked "Made in Germany". This Act was passed to protect the British scientific and technical lead. Unfortunately, for the British, it didn't help. In fact, the marks became a free trademark and was considered a seal of quality or warranty for good value.
You probably have seen porcelain or other items marked "Foreign" and wondered what that meant. The Congress of the United States passed the McKinley Tariff Act on October 1, 1890. It imposed tariffs on imports and demanded that the name of the country or origin be stamped or printed on items imported into the United States. Beginning in 1893, every item that was imported into the United States had to be marked "Foreign". Due to a revision in 1914, all items after 1923 had to be marked with a complete mark.
If any item was not marked according to the law, it would be turned back at customs.
For some examples of the various marks by Gerold Porzellan Click Here