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Posts tagged ‘Modernism’

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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Anne Dangar Exhibition

Anne Dangar, Ceramics from Moly-Sabata.

Art Gallery of New South Wales. 11 Aug – 28 Oct 2018.

Better acclaimed in her country of adoption, France, Anne Dangar (b.1885 Australia-d.1951 France ) is known for her innovative pottery designs that combine traditional techniques and modernist designs.

The Art Gallery of NSW is holding a display of major acquisitions by this important Artist from August 11th – 28 October 2018.

From the Art Gallery NSW Website:

“An early exponent of cubism in Australia, (Dangar) was closely involved with local modernists Dorrit Black, Rah Fizelle and Grace Crowley. She moved permanently to France in 1930, becoming the central figure in an artists commune, “Moly-Sabata’, by French cubist painter Albert Gleizes.

The Gallery has acquired a significant group of Dangar’s ceramics which were in the private collection of Gleizes and Juliette Roche, with the support of the Fondation Albert Gleizes and the Mollie Douglas bequest fund. Many of these works recently featured in an Anne Dangar survey exhibition in France – at the Musée de Valence – where she is highly regarded. These new acquisitions will be exhibited for the first time in Australia, alongside other Dangar works from the Gallery’s holdings”

You can read more about Anne’s life on the Australian Dictionary of Biography HERE , A few excerpts from which are below:

While assisting at the Sydney Art School in 1929, she met opposition when she attempted to introduce ideas about cubism and modern art, and was further frustrated by the parochial attitude of her family. Early in 1930 she travelled to the south of France where she joined an artists’ commune, Moly-Sabata, which had been set up at Sablons, (near Ardêche, France) by the cubist Albert Gleizes and his wife Juliette, née Roches.

Dangar became the central figure at Moly-Sabata……. Respected as a teacher of drawing and design, Dangar successfully exhibited her pottery in France; in 1939 she spent six months in Morocco, based at Fez, as ‘monitress’ to local potters, and was in turn influenced by their traditional Islamic designs..Back in  France in 1947 her own kiln was built  and she worked there until her death in 1951. 


To see more of Dangar’s ceramics online – there is a collection of lovely images of Dangar’s ceramics on the blog of collector and writer David Herbert  HERE  where the lovely teapot below is from:

Anne Dangar Teapot

Anne Dangar Teapot, Collection of David Herbert via his blog “itstartedwithajug.blogspot”

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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: 

Eva Zeisel "Ceylon", Schramberger

Eva Zeisel “Ceylon”, Schramberger

Eva Zeisel "Ceylon", Schramberger

Eva Zeisel “Ceylon”, Schramberger

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