This service of two mocha cups with saucers, pot and sugar tongs comes from the home of a former GDR-official. Back in the day it was part of the gastronomical facilities in the Palace of the Republic in East-Berlin, which opened its doors in 1976. The Palace was seat of the Volkskammer (parliament) and the cultural hub of the GDR between 1976 and 1990 with several entertainment facilities. Super stars of their time like Udo Lindenberg, Santana, Milva or Tangerine Dream performed on the stage of the “Großer Saal”, the main concert hall in East-Berlin. Setting the tone, large-scale paintings by renowned GDR-artists decorated the walls of the lobby area – Wolfgang Mattheuer’s work “Guten Tag” could be admired in the palace gallery on the first level.
For many different events around the clock people met in the various restaurants and bars on all levels. There, one would have drunk and eaten of porcelain by Thuringian manufacturer Graf von Henneberg. The manufactory was established in 1777 in Ilmenau, Thuringia, mainly producing domestic and catering tableware.
The mocha service “gold” was part of the inventory of the so-called ‘Moccabar’ on the first level. The pieces are part of the ‘Ratio 1001’ series, designed by Günther Pucher and manufactured by Henneberg between 1977 and 1990. Every piece is marked on the underside with the manufacturer’s label in green, which was in use from 1972 onwards. Related in shape is Heinrich Löffelhardt’s service ‘Arzberg 2200’ which was a huge success in West-Germany at the same time. The broad gold edge has been pushed forward by Erich Honecker himself, as Pucher recalled in an interview in October 2010. This décor was supposed to provide a particular exclusivity to ‘Moccabar’.
All of the porcelain used throughout the Palace were marked in the walling with the alloyed letters ‘PdR’. Like an insignia and national emblem, the design was of high recognition value. A real delight of nostalgia for the GDR!
For further reading:
Baumbach, Daniel: „Firmenporträt Kahla Porzellan im MDR Fernsehen“, in: medienspezialist.com, 14.10.2010.
Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss (Hrsg.): „Guten Tag“, in: humboldtforum.org, 21.03.2019.