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Lapid Ceramics Reference Guide

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

The Lapid book is published! This is such exciting and long awaited news for collectors of Lapid Israel Pottery. I have written a brief history of Lapid pottery previously HERE which you might want to read before you read this post.  

After 8 plus years of extensive research by Kobi, the previously un-written story of this pottery is now properly catalogued, documented, and its story told. A story that came so close to being lost to history as so many potteries have in the past.

The book is thorough in its scope and breadth – covering everything from Lapid’s birth to its decline in the late 1980s. This first edition is in Hebrew only, but because of the beautiful design and photography, you can appreciate and learn a lot about Lapid simply from the photographs, promotional posters, illustrations, datelines, signatures and more. It is a hardback edition of 350 plus pages, and you don’t find many pottery reference books so beautifully designed as this one. 

….and that dust jacket is just genius!  – an unfolding chart of many of the Lapid shapes/forms – which are also found inside the book. 

One of the revelations to me was to find out the names of many of the designs that I have admired for years. Some of these designs have locally inspired names, such as “Ein Gedi”, “Carmel” “Negev’ and others are more general in nature like “Free” and “Arabesque”.

A thrill for me was to be able find out the names of many of the painters and artists who worked at Lapid and the dates they worked there. Lapid only started using decals on some of their ranges in the 1970s and 1980s (items such as dinnerware) but they never stopped producing their hand painted “Art Pottery”. 

While Lapid Pottery is popular, admired and collected in the West, over the past 8 years or so that I have been following the development of this book it has become apparent to me how important Lapid Ceramics is to the Israeli community from both a cultural and sociological perspective. It’s hard to think of any other pottery that is so important and significant to the people of its country. 

The book is available on eBay internationally if you search for “Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman”  or contact Kobi via the facebook page Lapid Ceramics. 

You can also find a very well written review/summary of the book and the story of Lapid pottery in English on the website of tabletmag.com here and an interview with Kobi about the development of the book in Hebrew (use Google to auto translate) HERE

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

From: Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Detail: Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

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Michael Andersen Denmark – Marianne Starck & The Persia Glaze

While the award winning and amazing “Persia” glaze at Michael Andersen & Sons was developed in the 1930s by Daniel Andersen (1885-1959) and used on pieces from that date, I think it is the designs of Marianne Starck at MAS & Sons in the 1950s and 1960s where the Persia glaze is seen at its best.

This complex glaze turns out differently on each piece, depending on the glaze colourants used and style of decoration. Sometimes it appears like a pearlescent multi coloured micro-mosaic, and at other times as a more subtle pattern decoration with grey pearlescent hues. Often the pieces using this glaze have beautiful but subtle oxidisation of the glaze, giving some of the colours a slightly metallic appearance – especially noticeable on the red colour of the Viking longboat in the first image below. 

The glaze is also surprisingly smooth and silky to the touch. The Persia glaze was used on all types of forms – from utilitarian pieces to sculptural forms.

Below are some of my favourite pieces using the Persia glaze. 

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Bowl, Marianne Starck

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Bowl, Marianne Starck – Photo Ray Garrod

 

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Bowl, Marianne Starck

Detail – Viking Design on Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Bowl, Marianne Starck

 

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Lamp

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Lamp, Marianne Starck, Photo Ray Garrod

 

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Dish, Marianne Starck

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Bowl, Marianne Starck, Photo Ray Garrod

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Dish, Marianne Starck

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Dish, Marianne Starck, Photo Ray Garrod

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Bowl,  Marianne Starck

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Bowl, Marianne Starck – On this piece the Persia glaze effect is much more subtle, because of the large areas of colour in the design. Photo Ray Garrod

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Dish, Marianne Starck

Michael Andersen Denmark, Persia Glaze Dish, Marianne Starck, Photo Ray Garrod

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Gustavsberg Eldorado – Wilhelm Kage

This beautiful and elegant stoneware dinnerware is Gustavsberg “Eldorado”. It is a design by Wilhelm Kage (b1889-d1960) for Gustavsberg, designed in 1936 by Wilhelm and in production much later from 1956-1962 (post the retirement of Kage). During the 1920 and 1930’s Kage designed over 30 dinnerware designs at Gustavsberg, several of which went into production post his retirement.

The dinnerware set of Eldorado consisted of serving dishes, casseroles, ramekins, plates etc. – but I’m unsure if cups/teapots etc were produced – I havent been able to locate any images of such.

So far I have come across 3 main variations of this design – Brun (a brown ochre colour),  Pastell ( a yellow colour ), and Grun (pale green) but there seem to be more out there – I also found a bowl with a hand-painted stripe pattern on a clear glaze. (see last photos below). The brown appears to have been the most popular going by the quantity available now on the secondary market.

Gustavsberg Eldorado Brun

Gustavsberg Eldorado Brun – Photo Ray Garrod

Gustavsberg Eldorado Brun

Gustavsberg Eldorado Brun – Photo Ray Garrod

Gustavsberg Eldorado Brun

Gustavsberg Eldorado Brun

Gustavsberg Eldorado

Gustavsberg Eldorado Green – Photo via Metropol Auctions

Gustavsberg Eldorado

Gustavsberg Eldorado Photo via HappyMooseVintage Etsy

Gustavsberg Eldorado

Gustavsberg Eldorado Photo via Metropol Auctions

Doing research into more about this smart dinnerware design, I came across an interesting article in the American Publication, Ceramics Monthly August 1954.  It is a very interesting read, although this design is not mentioned – here is an excerpt….

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