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.
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.
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