A fantastic modernist design bowl with a striking abstract motif.
It is made from very fine porcelain, and beautifully hand painted – but as to the maker I’m stumped.
I’ve had this piece for several years and as yet haven’t been able to identify the maker.
To me it appears to be of Scandinavian origin. If you recognise the signature or style I would love to hear from you!
Modernist Bowl – mystery signature
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.
Maigonis (Mike) Daga (1923-2001) was born in Latvia, and immigrated to Australia in 1948 as a refugee, where he attended the Adelaide School of Art studying sculpture. Often spelt Magonis by Americans.
From 1954-1964 he ran a successful commercial pottery studio in Adelaide, after which he re-located to Minneapolis in the U.S. opening a studio there around 1970. His sons continued to run the studio after his death until very recently. (The last record I can find of it operating is in 2008)
His earlier Australian work consisted of modernist, slip cast forms which this ewer style vase typifies, but he is more widely known in the U.S. for his sculptural animal forms on granite plinths. Some of these figurines have a modernist look to them, others a more traditional look.
His work is usually signed “Daga” to the base and most often numbered.
His Australian pieces are also very similar stylistically to those of Gunda Pottery made around the same time in Melbourne by fellow Latvian, Gundars Lusis.
It was in the U.S. where Daga really refined his style.
Maigonis Daga Modernist Vase
Maigonis Daga Cypher