Saturday, June 28, 2014

Back to England

Today I'm returning to my home town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight for a family visit. I will be taking a break from the usual reporting on vases for the blog for the next 10 days or so. Check our instagram account for photos of the Isle of Wight and London.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Snap, Crackle & Pop

If you had to have just one lidded jar in your life, then this would be the one. Designed by Thorkild Olsson for Royal Copenhagen in the 1940s and a real show stopper at 14 inches tall.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Accolay Afrique

Another example of French, African inspired, ceramic art. This wonderfully glazed tribal mask comes to us from the artists of Accolay, circa 1950s, 9 inches tall.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monumental Deco Jar

A huge Flambe lidded jar by Rörstrand from the 1930s, 21 inches tall. The piece is marked as unique and I can tell from the decoration that it was commissioned by the Swedish Post Office. There are the trumpets that are a familiar logo to anyone who has received as many packages from Sweden as I have! Every scene depicts people holding envelopes and airplanes, so I'm thinking this piece was made to celebrate the start of Swedish air mail in the 1930s.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Big Cat

A very large, 16" long and 14" tall, crackle glaze and multicolored ceramic lion attributed to Marcello Fantoni. It is signed Italy and Raymor. A zoomorphic masterpiece.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Grand Gunnar

A Gunnar Nylund "Rubus" monumental vase for Rörstrand from the 1950s. 20 inches tall, again one of a pair.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Swedish Samba

Another example of why we love Upsala Ekeby ceramics so much. This pattern in teal and cobalt blue stripes is called "Samba" and was designed by Mari Simmulson in the 1950s. just over 14 inches tall and one of a pair.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bathing Beauty

A small but beautiful bronze sculpture of a classical figure by Just Andersen, one of our favorite Danish artists. This piece dates to the 1940s and is 9 inches tall.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Grande Pappagallo Bianco

Today we bring you one of the rarest birds in the world, the Great White Parrot. Only found in Italy and believed to be extinct since the early 1970s when the invasion of lesser Asian parrots flooded the western world.
 What we have here is a wonderful example of Italian skill in ceramic modeling. This giant example is 30 inches tall, which makes it one of the largest pieces of ceramic art we've ever had.
 Signed F. Nucci circa 1960.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Big in Sweden

Ewald Dahlskog monumental vase for Bo Fajans from the 1930's. This beautiful large vase has the most gorgeous light gray/lavender glaze, a rare and wonderful object. Just over 17 inches tall.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's a Zoo in Here

When one thinks of the Burgundy region of France it's wine that comes to mind not Giraffes.
However this handsome little fellow is one of the whimsical, ceramic fired onto steel wire, animals made by the Accolay studio in the 1950s. 10 inches tall.
 We have the adoption papers ready to sign!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Folkloric Modernism

A striking and rare, large Swedish vase at 17 inches tall, by Danish artist, Mette Dollar for Höganäs, circa 1940s.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Green Paprika

It was Anna-Lisa Thomson's Paprika line for Upsala Ekeby that started my love affair with this wonderful Swedish studio. Made from 1946 into the 50s this intricately hand modeled palm motif is usually seen in white on a matte terra-cotta base, the green is much rarer and we have never seen this particular model in green before. 14 inches tall.
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fab Fantoni

The most beautiful Fantoni vase we have ever seen just arrived at the shop. The greens and purples remind me so much of Monet's later paintings of water lilies in his garden at Giverny. This is a large and imposing vase at 16 inches tall and dates to the 1950s.
 Marcello Fantoni was born in Florence in 1915. In 1934 he graduated as an art teacher from the Art Institute of Porta Romana Florence, he then set up his first studio in 1936 in a converted stable in Florence. In 1946 he opened a newer and larger studio and workshop in Florence.
  In 1970 he founded the International School of Ceramic Art at his workshop on via Bolognese in Florence, where he continued to work and teach until his death in 2011.

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Meanwhile on the Côte d'Azur

From the town of Vallauris comes this delicious chocolate brown and yellow ceramic bowl created some time in the 1950s and stamped "Vallauris". Nine inches in diameter.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Mystery Green Blobs

This small but heavy hand blown glass vase, 6.5 inches & 3lbs weight, is a little bit of a puzzle.
Is it Italian or Scandinavian? It may even be German, but one thing we know for sure is that it's a beautiful example of mid century European art glass.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mid Century Roman

Although this chic classical style box appears to be made of bronze, it's actually a ceramic piece from the 1950s and is signed Bronzini. Just under 7 inches square.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Atterberg Aquisition

Ingrid Atterberg for Ekeby fluted floor vase, Swedish 1950s. This huge vase is 20 inches tall and is a charcoal base with light yellow fluting.
 We have never seen this design in such a giant size and I doubt that we'll ever see another one.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Portland Vase

It is not known exactly where and when the vase was found. It is recorded as being seen in 1601 when it was in the collection of Cardinal del Monte in Italy. After the cardinal's death it was bought by the Barberini family where it remained for 150 years. Eventually, in 1778, it was purchased by Sir William Hamilton, British Ambassador at the Court of Naples. He brought it to England and sold it to Margaret, dowager Duchess of Portland, less than two years later, in 1784. In 1786 it came into the hands of her son, the third Duke of Portland, and it was he who lent it to Josiah Wedgwood, who made it famous through various copies. It was deposited in The British Museum by the fourth Duke of Portland in 1810 where it remained, apart from three years (1929-32) when it was put up for sale at Christie's, but failed to reach its reserve. It was purchased by the Museum from the seventh duke of Portland in 1945.
 Our Wedgwood copy of the vase dates to the last half of the 19th Century and is 8 inches tall.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Venetian Treasure

This vase also comes to us via Germany and the Pagnin family collection of Venice. Most likely a sample piece from the 1980s by Massimilano Pagnin or Vittorio Ferro. 10 inches tall.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

California Girl

I'm calling her a "California Girl" because I found her on a recent trip to San Francisco.
She's made of unglazed terracotta and 12 inches tall. Although there's a very Art Deco look to her, she may well be mid century, not sure. As she's unsigned I'm going to stick with my attribution of California but she could be from out of state.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Perfect Seta Set

Another garniture but this time from the hand of Aldo Londi for Bitossi circa 1950s. Orange and gold candlesticks and a matiching footed bowl that's just over 10 inches tall and 9 inches diameter.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Lavender Light

Val St. Lambert is one of the oldest glass companies in Belgium and has been producing beautiful crystal since 1826. This pair of light purple candlesticks date to the 1960s and are just over 10 inches tall.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Marvelous Murano Murines

Vittorio Ferro was born in 1932 and worked with his uncles at Fratelli Tosso from 1952 to 1981 where he was responsible for the production of some of their most famous designs such as "Kiku" and "Nerox". After leaving Fratelli Tosso he worked on his own as well as with other Murano Houses, including Fratelli Pagnin. This 10" tall example is fabricated from murines (small glass mosaics) that date as far back as the 19th Century. This particular vase comes to us directly from the Pagnin family collection, via one of our favorite dealers in Germany.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wiener Werkstätte Wonder

This dramatic Moser lidded jar is attributed to Josef Hoffman for the Wiener Werkstätte, early 1920s and is 13.5 inches tall.
Established in 1903, the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna's Workshops) was a production community of visual artists including architects, artists and designers.
 The workshop evolved from the Vienna Secession, founded in 1897 as a progressive alliance of artists and designers. From the start, the Secession had placed special emphasis on the applied arts, and its 1900 exhibition surveying the work of contemporary European design workshops prompted the young architect Josef Hoffmann and his artist friend Koloman Moser to consider establishing a similar enterprise.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sculpture Céramique Dorée

Just in from France is this amazing 1950s gilded ceramic abstract sculpture in the style of Jean Arp.
This piece is unsigned but clearly the work of a master. 13 inches tall.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Danish Drama

A large and important Royal Copenhagen dish by Eva Stæhr-Nielsen from 1970.
Dark blues and grays make this platter a dramatic centerpiece for your table.
14 inches long.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Expanded Playlist on Soundcloud

Grand Geisha Garniture

A matching set of 3 or sometimes 5 vases is referred to as a garniture. Popular in Europe since the 17th Century when the Dutch started importing large amounts of blue and white porcelain from China and Japan with the Dutch East India Company. A display of Oriental porcelain was a popular way for the newly rich merchants of Amsterdam and London to show off their wealth and status.
 Our set comes to us from an auction house in England and is Japanese Arita porcelain from the late 19th Century. Arita is a town in western Japan that has been producing porcelain for over 400 years. After a seven year war with Korea in the early 17th Century many of the feudal lords, or daimyo, returned home from the Korean Peninsula bringing potters with them. It was these Koreans who were to start the Japanese porcelain industry that still flourishes in Arita today.
 The covered jar is 20 inches tall.

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