Eva Zeisel “Ceylon”
It is not well known that Eva Zeisel (1906- 2011) – more known now as an iconic America designer, in her youth was an important emerging designer in West Germany.
The very striking design in this post by Eva is called “Ceylon” and was design by her at Schramberger, and later developed further at Carstens. It appears to be now very rare.
Eva Zeisel was born Eva Stricker into a Jewish family in Budapest, where she studied painting at the Royal Academy of Art from 1923 -24 and sold some of her pottery designs at open air markets.
Around 1925 she was employed by Schramberger Majolikafabrik as in the Black Forest, as their chief designer. Here she produced over 200 designs, many of which weren’t well documented. Many of them though stayed in production long after she left Schramberger. Some of them have been reissued by MoMA in New York, the Brooklyn Museum and others.
In 1930, she moved to Berlin, where she worked briefly for Carstens Lübeck, then for about 18 months at Carstens-Hirschau and also as an independent designer.
Eva designed several coffee and tea sets including this Ceylon for Carstens-Hirschau.
The tea service “Ceylon” was released in 1933, and produced until about 1935 with at least 4 documented patterns. The design for “Ceylon” was obviously designed earlier by Eva though, as there are a number of pieces you can find with the Schramberger Ceylon stamp like the one in this post.
I love the sugar bowl in the first image below – it looks like something of a cross between Bauhaus, Cubism and Futurism.
The influential Bauhaus and the emerging Modernist movement must have been quite an influence on Eva at the time. You will notice some subtle differences between the larger plate design (above) and the smaller plate design (below). I would love to see what the cups and tea/coffee pots from this service looked like – but havent been able to locate any images.
Carstens-Hirschau closed production in 1956, while the Schramberg facilities closed in the late 1980s.
Some of information above has been sourced from the informative Spritzdekor website here: