Isn't collecting West German pottery a bit of a reversed rebellion? I can honestly say that I did not like them as a child. I vividly remember my mum deciding in the Eighties that 'it is now time to bring that old junk to the car boot and get rid of it'.
Fast forward 30 years and I wish I had stopped my mum of course.
The Heydays of West German Pottery were the 1950's to 1970's although so some very nice pieces have been produced up until the 1980's.
There are some well known manufacturers such as Scheurich (still operating today), Jasba, Bay (famous designs by Bodo Mans), Ceramano, Jopeko, Otto and many more.
Although I am very found of colorful Fat Lava glazes I also like the more muted glazes, a subtle speckled design on a striking shape. There are also some amazing bisque vases in op-art design which appeal to a different market altogether (harder to find than fat-lava).
When trying to identify vases, the markings to the base are quite helpful. Many vases have 2 numbers stamped in the base: the first number is usually the shape and the second number indicates the height. (Scheurich vases for example) other vases have just a maker's mark or even worse, a paper sticker that will most likely have worn off over the time. Scheurich who had and still have a prolific output quite often re-used their shape numbers much to the confusion of collectors.