Marianne Starck “Negro” Series, Michael Andersen & Sons (Part 2), Variations
The “Negro Series” sometimes referred to as the “Tribal” series was designed by Marianne Starck in the 1950s for Michael Andersen & Sons on the island of Bornholm, Denmark. You can read more about it in Part 1 HERE.
In addition to the strikingly bold, black and white designs there were some variations with this series. Because there doesn’t seem to be much documentation about this series of designs – It is hard to know sometimes if pieces were designed as part of the Negro series, or simply colour variations added later due to its popularity.
Also you will find that many of the shapes and forms used on the Negro series, were used for other designs coming out of the pottery during these mid-century years.
Henrik in Denmark, who is a passionate collector of the work of Marianne Starck has provided a number of photographs of part of his large and growing collection of Starck’s work for Michael Andersen – and in particular the large number of series which she designed during the 1950s including the “Negro” series.
Henrik has collected many pieces and variations of her designs which are very hard to find, and his collection goes to show us how prolific and original Marianne Starck was as a designer, in addition to being a skilled ceramicist.
Firstly, here are some of the less commonly seen black and white “Negro” series designs: (click on small images to bring up scrolling gallery).
Now some of the variations:
From what I can see the “Negro” variation most often seen, is the one with black and white + red ochre: The use of red ochre as an accent colour on these designs really makes them “pop”.
There is also another group which may or may not have beed designed as part of the original “Negro” series. It often has the same forms and designs often found on the Negro series, but has a black body with turquoise/green glaze. My favourite is the bold design bottom left.
Then there is another design, which also seems to be a variation of the Negro series motifs, featuring a black clay body, with red ochre+chrome green with no white.
Below is a “Group Shot” from Henrik, showing several of the Negro variations, plus other related designs with a very stylised tribal vibe to them, all from the same era and by Marianne Starck. Some are much rarer than others now – this is the first time I have come across the brown or pink and yellow designs which use the same sgraffito technique as for the Negro series.
Figurines were also an important part of the Negro series of black and white wares, and here are just a few examples of the large amount of figurines produced.
Many thanks to Henrik for sharing his images, and if you want to see more of his amazing collections of Danish ceramics you can follow him on Instagram @hmiller1980