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Posts from the ‘Italian Makers’ Category

Fratelli Fanciullacci Tapering Vase

I picked up this stunning Fratelli Fanciullacci Tapering Vase recently. A hard to find design….here anyway.

This hand decorated piece has an exquisitely detailed design consisting of bands of sgraffito (drawn lines), a top band of multi coloured glossy flowers, which have been applied thickly like enamel.

There is a green leaf repeat pattern near the base, along with a charming trellis and beautiful little white enamel dots over the piece.

The base glaze has a very luxurious and tactile, sand like texture often found on Fratelli pieces.

Inside it is glazed gloss with a nice touch of a delicate yellow splatter design inside near the top.

This pattern appears in Mark Hill’s book Alla Moda on p124. There seem to be a number of variations of the form. This one tapers from a round base to a rectangular top, and is 21cm tall.

Marked “Italy 8117” to the base.

Fratelli Fanciullacci Tapering Vase, Italy 1950s

Fratelli Fanciullacci Tapering Vase, Italy 1950s

Fratelli Fanciullacci Tapering Vase, Italy 1950s

Fratelli Fanciullacci Tapering Vase, Italy 1950s

Fratelli Fanciullacci Vase, Italy 1950s, Base Shot

 

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Coccia Italy

I came across the first piece below earlier this year. It’s a maker I haven’t seen previously – but I was captivated by the piece.

The bowl is obviously Italian with such a delightful hand painted design, made from earthenware and cased in red leather. It is a form and style popular in Italy in the 1950s – and is most probably from the Florentine or San Marino region.

It is signed “Coccia” – but extensive searching has come up with no information about this maker – including whether it is a person or company by that name. The facebook group Midcentury Italian Ceramics and Bitossi Collectors have seen this signature on a few pieces, but again – no information has come to light about the Italian Pottery signed “Coccia”…..so if you know anything about Coccia I would love to know.

Pieces from this maker come up from time to time online, and they usually have a very similar style and painting technique….which bears a resemblance to the style often used by Fantoni.  I have included a few of them below:

Coccia Italy

Coccia Italy – Photo Ray Garrod

Coccia Italy

Coccia Italy

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SICA Italy

Its always great to find out the maker of an item to give it more context and place in history. I had the striking modernist design plate for several years before selling it recently, and have recently found out its maker – SICA, Italy.

The information about its origin came  thanks to the very well run facebook group Midcentury Italian Ceramic & Bitossi Collectors

The piece turns out to be made by SICASocietà Italiana Ceramica Artistica – which was founded in Nove, in the province of Vicenza in 1946. It split into 2 companies in 1969 after which the company split into “S.I.C.A.R.T” and “C.A.I.”. They produced a wide range or wares – often mistaken or misattributed as Bitossi – especially the figurines.

The example I had was part of the SICA production.

You can see a wide cross section of the wares made on the facebook group on this page

My favourites though are the modernist designs like the ones below which remind me so much of the painting and artwork of the 1960s.

SICA Italy

SICA Italy – Photo Ray Garrod

SICA Italy

SICA Italy Backstamp with Import Label

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Fratelli Fanciullacci Freize Vase

This striking FF vase c1950s came into my hands recently. The piece features a band around the pot of stylised reclining nudes, in the style of ancient Roman friezes.

With each piece of pottery in this design the frieze was hand carved, making each piece different and unique. Other examples of this FF design can be seen in Mark Hill’s book “Alla Moda” on p118.

The frieze has been overpainted with a clear glaze, showing the natural flesh clay colour underneath.

The remainder of the surface is a cream coloured glaze with tightly incised sgraffito lines. Inside is a clear glaze on the naturally flesh coloured clay. It is about 25cm tall.

Fratelli Fanciullacci c1950s

Fratelli Fanciullacci c1950s

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Zaccagnini, Italy

Zaccagnini, Italy

There were a number of incarnations of the Zaccagnini company, Italy. The large vase in the image below would have been made by “Urbano Zaccagnini Artistic Ceramics” which operated from 1958 to the mid 1960s.

The Zaccagnini name is very well known in the United States, but not so well known or seen here in Australia. In the U.S. much of the Zaccagnini output is referred to as being in the “Hollywood Regency” style – highly decorative, often with a bit of “bling”. The company is also well known for its collectable Disney characters which were made for Disney by “Zaccagnini SpA” from the 1930s.  In addition Zaccagnini is well known for its animal figurines and ceramic statuettes.

Zaccagnini seems to have reached its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, and it is the work from this era which seems to be the most coveted (and thus expensive to buy) – you will often find beautifully simple Modernist works from this era by Zaccagnini on places like 1st Dibs.  It is a maker, however which is often easily mis-attributed if there is no makers mark – as there are so many similarities between Italian makers during this era.

Zaccagnini Vase

 

Zaccagnini, Italy Bowl

Zaccagnini, Italy Bowl via “apythagorasplace” etsy

Zaccagnini, Italy Vase

Zaccagnini, Italy Vase Cypher on above piece.

 

There is a brief history of this important Italian maker on THIS website which also has images of many of the backstamps and cyphers used.

Here is a (google) translation of the entry:

The ceramic factory “Ugo Zaccagnini & Figli” was founded by Ugo Zaccagnini, a former employee of “Richard-Ginori”, in Sesto Fiorentino in 1905. The first production of the company is focused on the production of majolica and earthenware type, often inspired by the ancient Della Robbia models.The company, with which the five sons of Zaccagnini Urbano, Pietro, Prisco, Adele and Enrichetta collaborate, moved to Florence in 1912 where he began a production of more volumes presenting at numerous editions of the Triennale and the Milan Trade Fair. at the Florence Crafts Exhibitions. In the 1930s the sculptor L. Contini collaborated with the manufactory.

Among the important ceramists who worked for the manufacture we also remember the sculptor Fosco Martini who, around the mid-thirties, made many interesting ceramics depicting animals and the majolica painter U. Ciardella. In 1936, after the death of the founder, the factory changed its name and became “Società Anonima Ceramiche Zaccagnini” with its headquarters in Piazza Pier Vettori 10, Florence and the role of managing director and artistic director was entrusted to the major of the heirs Urban. In the same year, thanks to the capital introduced into the company by the industrialist Aristide Loria, the company became a joint-stock company and invested in modernization and production capacity.

In 1937, more than 120 employees work in ceramics and in the factory, and the factory begins to export its products to the United States. In the second half of the Thirties the collaboration with the manufacture of numerous artists including: Mario Bandini, Ottorino Palloni, Maurizio Tempestini, Gino Pozzi and Leopold Anzengruber.At the end of the Thirties, Walt Disney entrusted “Zaccagnini S.p.A.”, which in those years was based in Piazza Pier Vettori 10 in Florence, the ceramic construction of the characters of their cartoons.

In 1950 some of the company’s ceramics, including a series of dishes, were exhibited at the Italian Crafts Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

In the fifties an artistic line inspired by abstractionism, called “Swedish”, was included in the production.

In 1958, Urbano Zaccagnini left the family factory and founded the “Urbano Zaccagnini Ceramiche Artistiche” which remained active until the mid-1960s.

The “S.p.A. Zaccagnini” is still active until the year 2000.

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Bertoncello, Italy

Bertoncello Italy

Bertoncello Ceramiche was founded in Schiavon, Vicenza, Italy c1956.

For many years it was run solely by a Mr. Lini and Giovanni Bertoncello (1930-2011), but by the 1970s had a staff of around 30.

Giovanni was the creative force behind the forms and glazes, supported later by a Mr. Boatto – a Venetian teacher.

Sadly not a lot is known about the company because all its catalogues and archives were destroyed when the company closed in 1999. Fortunately due to its popularity and volume made, it is still relatively easy to get hold of.

The forms of Bertoncello pottery are often very sculptural and geometric and look like smaller studies or maquettes for massive modernist sculptures that are yet to be built. This sculptural appearance of many pieces was enhanced by the use of feet which subtly raise the piece off the surface on which it sits.

Bertoncello Italy

Bertoncello Italy

 

Bertoncello Italy

Other types of pottery such as homewares, figurines and novelty items were made, often in bright colours such as red or orange – but it is the sculptural modernist looking vase forms which Bertoncello has become best known for. Read more

Fratelli Fanciullacci Italy

Fratelli Fanciullacci

The brothers Fanciullacci was prolific Italian pottery, who’s work is starting to become more widely known in the past few years, and is keenly sought amongst collectors.

As a style it is hard to pin down as there were so many styles and produced – on a variety of clay bodies. Also, because most records were lost it is hard to identify designers or artist – except it is known that Aldo Londi worked there prior to going to Bitossi.

Pieces from the FF factory were rarely marked – except for some pieces simply marked FF. Most though will have nothing or simply “Italy” and a number.  After a while however, with experience, pieces by this maker start to stand out from the rest.

Fratelli Fanciullacci "Brick Pattern" Vase

Fratelli Fanciullacci “Brick Pattern” Vase

Fratelli Fanciullacci Ewer Vase

Fratelli Fanciullacci Ewer Vase

The best examples of work seem to be from the 1950s and 1960s.

Mark Hill in his book “Alla Moda” has a comprehensive chapter on FF, with loads of fantastic photos – classified into styles. Because of this “Alla Moda” is one of the best ways to identify a piece of FF.

Fratelli Fanciullacci 1960s/70s Vase

Fratelli Fanciullacci 1960s/70s Ewer Vase

There is a fascinating history of this iconic Italian maker HERE where I have grabbed these edited notes from:

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