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Denby Cottage Blue

Denby Cottage Blue was introduced in 1926 and continued to be popular into the 1980’s – a very long running design by any standards.

Cottage Blue is typified by its blue mottled glaze which is partly transparent (I would call it Imperial Blue – it isn’t a bright cobalt blue). Contrasting with the blue is the lovely buttercup yellow interior on most of the forms.

It was introduced on the traditional shapes Denby was using at the time – and it looks like more shapes were added as time went by.

I’ve seen it attributed to Donald Gilbert – but I don’t think that can be correct as he didn’t join the firm until 1931.

Here are some of the charming pieces from Cottage Blue. I particularly like the angled forms of some of the ramekins and serving dishes.

Denby Cottage Blue Teapot

Denby Cottage Blue Teapot

Denby Cottage Blue Group

Denby Cottage Blue Group

Denby Cottage Blue Ramekins

Denby Cottage Blue Ramekins

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Knudsdatter Denmark – Mystery

This maker is a bit of a mystery. While it has a name and cypher, the maker remains unidentified as yet.

The piece was with a number of known Danish pottery items I purchased at auction late last year.

The large stoneware slab formed vessel is quite large with a iron rich brown glaze.

The paper label says “Knudsdatter Stentøj, Made in Denmark” but I havent been able to find anything about this potter or pottery.

I haven’t found  any images online from the maker either – which seems a bit odd given the printed label and cypher which some planning and thought has gone into.

Knudstatter Denmark , Stoneware Vessel

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Auction Watch 2018.1

On the previous incarnation of this website, I ran a very popular category called “Auction Watch” –  of desirable, collectable or noteworthy ceramic items coming up in auctions around Australia, and around the world.

I have started up this category again on this site, starting with an auction coming up in Melbourne Australia, at Leonard Joel Auctions on 16th April 2018, at 18.30h. The auction is “Modern Design” and has a component of some very smart 20th Century Ceramics.  The whole catalogue can be viewed online here

Below are some of the ceramic items from this auction which have caught my attention:

Italian Pottery Group

Italian Pottery Group c1950s – Leonard Joel Auctions

 

Italian Pottery Group

Italian Pottery Group c1950s- Leonard Joel Auctions

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Gerd Hiort Petersen Denmark – Soholm Period

Born in 1937, Gerd Hiort Petersen became Bornholm’s first female pottery apprentice when she took up her apprenticeship at Michael Andersen pottery as a youth.

By the age of 27 her stoneware and porcelain were being exhibited in Denmark and abroad.

She worked for Royal Copenhagen from 1965-1973. While she was at Royal Copenhagen she designed many pieces, including their 1973 Annual Mug.

My interest in her work however lies in the fantastical and imaginative pieces she created at Soholm Pottery, Bornholm where she worked 1961-1962. They have quite a surrealist/ancient vibe about them with their fantastic creatures  – although these designs may be based in spirituality as Gerd is also very well known for her Church commissions.

Gerd Hiort Petersen, Soholm Urn 3330

Gerd Hiort Petersen, Soholm Urn 3330

Gerd Hiort Petersen, Soholm Urn 3330

Gerd Hiort Petersen, Soholm Urn 3330

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Arabia Finland 100 year Anniversary Series

This series of designs from Arabia Finland were designed by Raija Uosikkinen to celebrate the 10oth Anniversary of Arabia Finland in 1975. As far as I know there are three designs in the series – 100, 101, and 102,  and they were produced during 1971-1975 in limited numbers.

Each scene features a bucolic rural village drawing in cobalt blue, on a greyish white stoneware clay. The plates are dinner plate size – about 26cm diameter. The blue designs also have beautiful line patterns and decorative textures.

The plates don’t seem to be as well known as Raija’s “Kalevala” annual plates starting 1976 and her Christmas plates starting in 1978. This is possibly due to their more limited production.

On the back some designs just have the design number and the Arabia backstamp – i.e. 100, 101 etc, and some have in addition the number of the edition.

Arabia 100th Anniversary Plate 102

Arabia 100th Anniversary Plate 102

Arabia 100th Anniversary Plate 101

Arabia 100th Anniversary Plate 101

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NGV International, ” A Modern Life, Tablewares 1930–1980s”

Melbourne based Artist John Hinds recently made a generous donation of 20th Century commercial tableware to the NGV International Melbourne which is large component of an exhibition running currently entitled “A Modern Life, Tablewares 1930s-1980s” . It runs 30th March 2018 to January 2019.

The collection began when John had amassed op-shop ceramics to construct tiered cake stands. Although they were fabulous, they sold slowly, and he finally abandoned the project. After he had cleared away the dross, remaining were about  100 boldly patterned plates (mostly English & Japanese) from the 60s & 70s. These were donated  to The Powerhouse in Sydney and you can view them online HERE

As always happens, John kept on finding more objects, and the idea grew of donating a more comprehensive collection to National Gallery of Victoria.

The first donation was mainly ceramics. Names included Broadhurst, Wedgwood, Meakin, Mikasa, Midwinter, Arabia, Denby, Hornsea, Langley, Rosenthal and Portmeirion.

John worked on adding to the collection by amassing pieces from an alphabetical list of well known International Designers. Names such as Gerald Benney (UK) Susie Cooper (UK) Stig Lindberg (Sweden) Raymond Loewy (USA) David Mellor (UK) Keith Murray (NZ-UK) Jens Quistgaad (Denmark) Robert Welch (UK) Russel Wright (USA) and Eva Zeisel (USA).

Decorative Arts collections in most Australian museums until now have concentrated on the aristocratic and the rare, and none had a comprehensive survey of post war Modern Design – in particular tableware design.

The time had come to change this John believed, and with the collaboration of the NGV which is now more focused on design, and curator Amanda Dunsmore, the idea for the exhibition was developed with enthusiasm.

The result is this exhibition which provides an timely overview of  Modern Tableware Design, 1930s to 1980s.

NGV International, " A Modern Life, Tablewares 1930–1980s"

NGV International, ” A Modern Life, Tablewares 1930–1980s” – Photo Carmel O’Connor – Copyright – not for re-distribution.

The images below are of designs represented in the exhibition from previous posts on this site. You can preview the items presented in the NGV Exhibition HERE

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Italian Vase, To be Identified.

I have started up a new category of posts to this site for “Unidentified” pieces in the hope that eventually someone recognises the maker.

Often the country of origin can by identified, sometimes by style, sometimes by technique or decoration…… but sometimes that is where the trail ends.

Here is the first, a piece which appears to be Italian – but could also be West German. A slip cast, and hand painted vase, 17cm tall. There is a stamped number in the base of the clay, but it is not clear enough to read. The style of numbering though looks Italian.

Italian Vase, c1950s

Italian Vase, c1950s

 

Modernist Noritake Vase

I came across this very smart modernist looking Noritake Japan vase recently. It is a very impressive piece, about 25cm tall, in a stylised “tree trunk” form popular in the 1950s and 1960s.  It has a timeless colour scheme and pattern, but its mark indicates it was produced from around 1953.

This pattern was never named or assigned a pattern number, which was not unusual for this era, and I have been unable to find any other examples of either the shape or pattern on any other Nortiake pieces.

As with all Noritake of this era, the quality and finish is very high.

Modernist Noritake Vase c1950s

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