Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rare Rörstrand

We've discovered another notable name to add to the Rörstrand roster of great artisans - Sylvia Leuchovius (1915 - 2003). This masterful plate is the very definition of art pottery. The glaze has an almost celestial movement, exploding with color from the raised center, from moss green to all shades of blues and magenta over a crazed celadon backdrop. Created in the 60s.
9.5" in diameter

Friday, August 30, 2013


An Italian take on the master of minimalism, the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. This pair of ceramics, an oval vase and a cylindrical lidded box, are actually by Bitossi for importer Raymor, circa 1950s. An unexpectedly somber (yet chic) color palette for this obvious nod to the colorful cubist.
16", 6"

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Atomic Age Porcelain

A distinctly modernist moment from a classic porcelain factory. Germany's Fürstenberg has been in existence since the 18th century, and one would be right to assume most of their wares lean towards the traditional - rosette motifs and grandma's tea service and such. But, in the 1960s they created a modern line with a futuristic bent that we just covet. Alternating between yellow and rose gold are these Verner Panton-esque patterns. Eye-like on the horizontal and planentary on the vertical. Very cool no matter how you look at it!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The September Issue

Real Simple is probably our most consistent supporter in the print world. The September issue features a cover story highlighting design trends that never really go out of style. For the mid-century minimalism category, they chose our glass objects to accessorize their "Mod" mood board. The reds are 60's Holmegaard while the black with silver leaf is 1950s Seguso.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thai Treasure

Traditionally seen as a lid to a rain drum, but appreciated here as an art piece. The intricacy of the craftsmanship is worthy of display on a decorative stand. This is a 20th century sold bronze version of what is likely a centuries old traditional craft. Seeing it this way feels modern and I think a great conversation piece to add to a contemporary setting.
27" x 20.5" x 9"

Monday, August 26, 2013

Barbini Genie

A rarity in both color and form. This large scale mid-century Barbini bottle is best described as 'fancy', given its ultra-feminine mix of hues from blush to hot pink and alternating opalescence. Dreamy like a genie bottle should be.
Over 19" tall

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Magnificent Monolith

75 lbs of multifaceted modernist bronze from the Balkan born Gualtiero Mocenni, an internationally acclaimed artist who mostly made his mark in Milan. The fashion capital of Italy is his home and, in fact, home to several of his large scale public works in any number of materials including stone and wood. This piece of varying planes of patina and black lacquer over bronze (signed and numbered 3/10) was created in 1980.
22" tall x 8.5" wide x 7.5" depth

Saturday, August 24, 2013


These German glass buds from the 1960s are pure joy. Featherweight confections with a pop-art appeal. I feel like Roy Lichtenstein would have really loved these!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bamboo for You

A treasure from a pivotal period in Japanese history. In 1868, the Tokugawa era found an end in the Meiji Restoration. The emperor Meiji was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo, which became the new capital. A decree was made wherein production shifted away from armor and swords, and a  movement towards decorative arts was established, ushering in an open trade with the western world. The world's fairs would soon find fascinating items similar to this 19th century bronze vase with sterling silver bamboo motif inlay representing the new Japan.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Carving Our Niche

A hand carved creation in brown glazed terracotta - Typically a technique found in works from Italy, this version is actually German. Given the huge amount of work, it's an impressive size at 18" tall.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Silky Sequel

Another pair of textured treasures from Aldo Londi for Bitossi's "Seta" line - the originals such as these were in production between 1957 and 1965. A perfect pairing...the compote compliments the vase quite nicely.
15" and 8"

Monday, August 19, 2013

Silky Sgraffito

From designer Aldo Londi comes a prime example of the Bitossi line called "Seta" - Italian for silk. The sgrafitto technique was used in the 50s and early 60s to give this range of ceramics a raw silk look and most were gilt for a little bit of added shine. Personally, I just love the on-trend ombré effect.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Our Grand Tour Continues...

This is what we in the trade refer to as a 'really good reproduction'. The Venus De Milo - An iconic figure of feminine beauty,  made circa 1900, likely sold at the Louvre (or elsewhere in Paris) & made for the well heeled tourist trade. Bronze and heavy, this Aphrodite sculpture is a Greek goddess for the ages.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Out of Africa

A Mid-20th century reproduction of a late 16th century original. This is not to say it's not an actual craft from a tribal descendant of the great subject herself - named Idia, the first Iyoba (Queen Mother) of the Benin tribe.
23" with our custom lucite base

Friday, August 16, 2013

Odd Couple

...and by odd I mean unusual, and by that I mean unique and special.  Small stopper bottles in crazed ceramic incised with a cartoonish illustration of a pigtailed gal with a fruit basket atop her head?!
The real surprise is that we have two and that they are by the famous and quite serious Carl Harry Stalhane for Rorstand!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Birds

A major name in glass that dates back to the thirteenth century, in fact to the very roots of the glass blowing industry on the island of Murano,  is Zanetti. In the 20th century a man by the name of Licio Zanetti carried on the family tradition by apprenticing at every bold name factory under the tutelage of Venini, Barbini, and Alfredo Seguso - honing his skills to become a Maestro in his own right. The above birds are basically life-size (33" x 14" and 27" x 8" respectively) - works of art and quite desirable. Close inspection shows the intricate feathering technique that only a master could achieve and the legs and feet are gilt bronze.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Glossy Glass

Found in the pages of the September issue of Elle Decor is the tres chic Paris apartment of fashion designer Yvan Mispelaere. Among his eclectic collection of curiosities (a surreal design trend we absolutely approve of) are our glass wares - a minty Cenedese bowl and Italian bottle above seem to be ours. Also credited to us - a collection of baby blues from Empoli and a French Opaline perfume featured in the spread as well. Check out the Jet-Set Style issue - on newsstands now.
Editorial photo credit: Matthieu Salvaing

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dalek Design

Any Dr. Who fan will get the reference (and the recent re-casting of the namesake role, not to mention the 50 year anniversary, has Who in the news all over again). Since 1963, one of the good doctor's main rivals in the science fiction series is a nemesis by the name of "Dalek" - a recurring killing machine that seems to follow the time traveler through the ages. This great German vase by Friedrich would have been made during the same early 60s era. Coincidence? "Who" knows!
7.5" x 6

Monday, August 12, 2013

Time After Time

An enamel on copper clock from mid-century Germany...emerald green and gold
8" in diameter

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Portrait of Apollo

This lidded urn is a collaboration from two of the greatest names to be frequently mentioned on this blog. The vessel itself was a part of Gunnar Nylund's "Flambe" series and decorated by his equally renown associate Carl Harry Stalhane. The classical imagery is that of a Roman Archer (my assumption is that it is the god Apollo). The highlights of genuine gold give the illustration an illuminated quality. For Rorstrand, Sweden, 1930s
9 x 9

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Massive Bitossi

With proportions like 19" x 13" - this is an unusually large example of a Bitossi ceramic vase. Also of note is the lack of colors. We often see the Rimini Blue or other multi-color combinations, but the single terracotta tone is an intrigueing surprise. Of course, the signature incising is still here, along with the rough surface and the very 50s proportions.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Great Bang for Your Buck

My header is not meant in any way to suggest a bargain. On the contrary, this is a rare and remarkable work from the 1940s studio of the great Danish ceramicist Arne Bang. As we all know, rarity dictates value...and this piece has all the hallmarks of a truly collectible ceramic. A clean form made complex by multiple layers of mottled matte blue/green crystalline glaze. The flourish of berries and flora are his signature Asian homage.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grand Tour Souvenier

So, this Roman Warrior just had to be seen from his posterior - if only for his Medusa shield, of course! Made in Italy to sell to sophisticated tourists visiting Rome in the 19th century. Beautifully detailed cast bronze on yellow marble, circa 1850.
7" tall

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Diamonds Are Forever

I have to say this is one of the coolest Bavarian porcelain vases we have ever seen. Made in Germany in the 1960s by Gerold Porzellan. A stunning case study in convex and concave design.
8.5" x 5.5"

Monday, August 5, 2013

Lava Dots

A beige background is dotted with little cobalt lunar raised dots on this hour-glass shaped West German ceramic from the 1960s. Groovy and graphic all at once.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Magnificent Mari

Teal and cobalt blue stripes decorate this unusual pattern from Scandinavian ceramicist Mari Simmulson for Upsala Ekeby, 1950s. 
Just over 14"

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Super-Graphic Ceramics

Off white glazed vases with just a hint of red cast from the clay beneath. The argyle patterned piece is from a small studio called Alma. The strong lines of the fluted urn are trademark Schollert. Both are Danish 1950s.
Heights: around 9" each

Friday, August 2, 2013

Deluxe Duo

There are levels of luxury when it comes to collectible glass - and these two are definitely top tier. We have literally been searching for years for a pair of this style Barbini to become available. The striped pattern is part of a collection based on the circus tent. Perhaps the popularity of Pagliacci in Italian culture inspired their design. The graceful lines are quite refined, the heaviness of the glass, the subtlety of the blue color, and the generous amount of gold within all add to the value.
 Made exculsively  for the American market, late 1940s to early 1950s.
26", 20"

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mod Mystery

An odd mix of styles - the top is pure pop art, while the base is art-deco-architectural. Such eclecticism makes this unique piece so hard to place. It feels like a futurist attraction from a world's fair. Probably German, definitely 60s.