This rare German Westerwald Stoneware piece is a most unusual form. Three small pots form the base, and the fourth one sits on the shoulders of the lower three. I've learned that this form was also made by both Worcester & Belleek. A early Belleek catalog used the term "specimen vase", as each miniature vase holds a single flower.
The gray stoneware is glazed with the rare combination of cobalt blue AND a purple-brown manganese trim around the necks and the middle of each vase.
The height is about 4" (10 cm.). The molded and applied decoration takes 2 forms: one is a flower in a pot, and the other a mask of an old man with a large moustache. This is a folk art masterpiece!
It is not perfect. The top vase has a chip under the lip of the vase (see photo 5), and one of the supporting vases has 2 chips under the lip. Both of these flaws are rather unobtrusive. The remaining 2 vases are fine. If you look at a picture of the base (photo 4) you will see 3 unglazed marks. I believe these are stilt marks from the kiln.
The vase is at least 19th century, and perhaps much older. Don't miss this unusual piece of German Folk Art!