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Michael Andersen & Sons Pottery, Denmark

"Negro" Series Plate, Marianne Starck, M.A.S. Denmark

Michael Andersen and Sons Pottery (MAS), Bornholm Denmark. 

Michael Andersen & Sons was founded in the 1880s (from an earlier 18th Century Pottery) on the island of Bornholm, Denmark – one of the major centres of Danish pottery production during the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Jens Michael Andersen (1859-1931) who was the founder, had trained at the local Hjorth pottery.

His 4 sons worked in the pottery, and one son, Daniel (1885-1959) developed the iconic “Persia” glaze in 1935, which won an international award. The Persia glaze went on to be used on many designs well into the 1960s.

Persia Glaze Bowl by Marianne Starck, M.A.S. Denmark

Persia Glaze Bowl with design by Marianne Starck, M.A.S. Denmark – The cat designs by Marianne Starck on different forms with a Persia glaze have become very collectable pieces.

Michael Andersen & Sons, Lamp with Persia Glaze

Michael Andersen & Sons, Lamp with Persia Glaze – A simple blue pattern on the Persia glaze like this one seems to show it of to best effect – highlighting the lovely mother-of-pearl crackle of the glaze

It is the “Art Pottery” of the 1950s -1970s which MAS are now best known for worldwide…but I also love some of the Art Deco style designs from the 1930s – although these are harder to find in excellent condition now.

Michael Andersen & Sons, Art Deco Era Bowl

Michael Andersen & Sons, Art Deco Era Bowl

Marianne Starck originally from Germany, was one of the top Ceramicists who contributed to the success of Michael Andersen & Sons Pottery in the mid 20th Century.

She started with the Factory as Artistic Director in 1955 and remained until its closure in 1993, designing many iconic series of which the “Negro” series is probably one of the most coveted now.

“Negro” Series Bowl, Marianne Starck, M.A.S. There are a large number of designs in the “Negro” or “Tribal” series – all very striking in design

Marianne’s work is usually inscribed with the initials M.S.

Michael Andersen Denmark, MS signature

Michael Andersen Denmark, MS signature for Marianne Starck

Since 1930 items from MAS have usually been marked with the three fish stamp in various designs. Sometimes it is a simple label, other times just an impressed mark of 3 herrings.

Michael Andersen & Sons Denmark, 3 Herrings Paper Label

Michael Andersen & Sons Denmark, 3 Herrings Paper Label

The 3 herring mark is also the official seal of the town of Ronne, where the factory was located.

The M.A.S. pottery was partly resurected by ceramicist Solveig Ussing, and it operates currently from a small workshop in Ronne, where some of the original MAS moulds are still used.

The photographs in this article are of pieces that have passed through my hands, so of course they only represent a fraction of all of the designs made.

Stoneware Bowl, Michael Andersen & Sons, Marianne Starck Design

Stoneware Bowl, Michael Andersen & Sons, Marianne Starck Design. The stoneware pieces from the 1960s and 1970s also have a presence and quality which set them apart from the rest.

Marianne Starck Wall Plaque, M.A.S.

Marianne Starck Wall Plaque, M.A.S.

Michael Andersen & Sons, Large Stoneware Bowl

Michael Andersen & Sons, Large Stoneware Bowl

Michael Andersen & Sons, Stoneware Bowl

Michael Andersen & Sons, Stoneware Bowl. These small stoneware forms from the 1960s – often with blue glaze, and textured clay are amongst my favourites from M.A.S.

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