Skip to content

Lapid Pottery, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel 1944-1990

Lapid Israel, Large "Splat" Vase, Batia

Lapid Pottery, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel 1944-1990

Lapid Pottery was formed in 1944 during British Mandate to Israel. The year 1949 was an Important year for the pottery when Dr. K. Moosberg became a main partner in the factory and the factory changed its original goal of making tiles and sanitary wares – to producing Art Pottery which is the Lapid Pottery most people are now familiar with.

 In 1949 the Art Department was established at Lapid. Amongst the designers at Lapid over the years were Elspeth Cohen, Dr. Bertha Rosenthal, Ray Silverman &  Dvora Gazit. The designers were primarily responsible for the forms and shapes, and the head decorator the designs – although often it was a joint collaboration. A group of 7-8 decorators would then hand paint the designs onto the art pottery, making for subtle variations between the same base designs, and each piece unique. 

The earliest pieces I have seen from this pottery are around 1952, very glossy and nowhere near as sophisticated in design as work which soon followed once the pottery was more established, and began exporting.

I have only ever found one published reference to Lapid Pottery, which is a paragraph in the book “Art in Israel” by Benjamin Tammuz published in 1963 by Chilton Company

“Elspeth Cohen, designer for the Lapid factory , has also been responsible for some of the best Israeli ceramics. Her style is clean, austere and classical and in some ways reminiscent of contemporary Scandinavian design. It is unfortunate that Lapid is not equipped to produce large tableware, since her talent is admirable suited to this field”

In the past 7 years or so, much more of the history of Lapid is being documented, thanks to Kobi Klaitman in Israel whos father worked at the Lapid factory. Kobi has a facebook page going for Lapid Pottery, and the fascinating history of it is now unfolding. You can see the page HERE

Lapid is certainly reminiscent of both Danish and West German pottery at the time, which is probably what attracts me to it….but at the same time there is nothing else quite like it. What I love about it is the pure Modernist nature of it – with the wonderful patterns, colours and designs.

All Lapid pieces like the ones below are slip cast stoneware, fired to 1250c – which is rare for this type of slip-cast pottery – and adds to its strength.

Nearly all of the Lapid Art Pottery is hand painted with either oxides or glaze, with the wax-resist technique often used as decoration.

Another unique fact about Lapid pottery is that all of their kitchen ware was free of lead – being the only commercial pottery in Israel able to do this.

Lapid pottery closed on 31st July, 1990.

Lapid Israel - Large Modernist Vase

Lapid Israel – Large Modernist Vase

Lapid Israel - Large vase with sgraffito design

Lapid Israel – Large vase with sgraffito design

Lapid Israel - Modernist Plate

Lapid Israel – Modernist Plate

Lapid Israel - tall "splat" vase

Lapid Israel – tall “splat” vase

Lapid Israel - Modernist motif vase

Lapid Israel – Modernist motif vase

Nearly all of the handpainted pieces you will find are signed on base by the maker (e.g. “Dan”, “Esther”, “Batia” etc.) and the word Lapid. There is no 1 painter who is “better” or more collectable than others – but some designs reach much higher prices simply because of the design or look of the piece.

Lapid Israel - Modernist Bowl

Lapid Israel – Modernist Bowl

Lapid Israel - Large Jar

Lapid Israel – Large Jar

Lapid Israel - Modernist Canister

Lapid Israel – Modernist Canister

Lapid Israel - Small Cup/saucer

Lapid Israel – Small Cup/saucer

Lapid Israel - Biomorphic Bowl

Lapid Israel – Biomorphic Bowl

Lapid Israel - Small Vase by Dan

Lapid Israel – Small Vase by Dan

Lapid Israel, Small Bud Vase, Wax Resist Pattern

Lapid Israel, Small Bud Vase, Wax Resist Pattern

Lapid Israel - Modernist Vase

Lapid Israel – Modernist Vase

Lapid Israel - Huge Floor Vase

Lapid Israel – Huge Floor Vase

Lapid Israel - tall vase by Leah

Lapid Israel – tall vase by Leah

Lapid Israel - Vase with Floral motif

Lapid Israel – Vase with Floral motif

No comments yet

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: