Q: I have a vase stamped “Made in German Democratic Republic.” It’s also stamped “J.L. Menau” and underneath it, “Kenneberg-Torzellan.” Can you tell me who made this vase?
A: Your vase was made by a porcelain factory in Ilmenau, Thuringia, Germany. Although the name of the town looks like “JLMENAU” on some marks, it is actually Ilmenau, and what looks like “Kenneberg-Torzellan” is actually “Henneberg-Porzellan.” The factory was founded in Ilmenau in 1777 and operated under various names and owners. It became Ilmenauer Porzellanfabrik Graf von Henneberg in 1930. The company was nationalized when Ilmenau became part of the Germany Democratic Republic (East Germany) after World War II. It operated as V.E.B. Henneberg Porzellan Ilmenau from 1949 until 1990. Your vase was made during this period. The company went bankrupt in 2002and the assets were bought by an investor who changed the company’s name to Neue Porzellanfabrik Ilmenau. The maker is not well-known, so your vase is worth about $30.