Katzhutte means cat house in German and was started back in the 1800’s in Thuringia, Germany. Pieces produced at this factory carry the green or blue cat in house marking. The factory was started in 1864 when Nikolas Beyerman and Ernst Fredrich Hertwig acquired the “UntereEisenhammer” a rather old and run down iron works on the bank of the Schwarzariver in Germany. There was good clay there and an abundance of cheap skilled labor.
By 1890 there were 900 people employed by Hertwig, 300 in the factory on production and 600 home workers who made the clothes and bodies of the dolls. Puppets and Dolls were what Hertwig was most famous for. They also produced animals, birds and utilitarian kitchenware.
It is estimated that some 15,000 items disappeared and were converted into hard currency in the West. So the records were lost. The factory continued to decline and in 1995, it finally closed. During their peak, the factory produced many lovely Borzoi pieces among their collections.The works during this time would often include lovely ladies with Borzoi in an Art Deco style. There were also many lovely Borzoi pieces created of Borzoi on their own in running, standing and sitting positions.
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The marks on the pieces are their time signatures and can serve to pinpoint the age of a piece. The following marks were used from 1914 – 1958.
The Ladies Of Hertwig was a theme used throughout the early 1920’s featuring bathing beauties, flappers and dancers in exquisite poses showing off their lovely hand painted dresses. So extensive were these collections that a catalog was produced listing all pieces created between 1900 and 1945.