Friday, August 22, 2014

West German Pottery

West german pottery is a synonym for a very large variety of ceramic works that had been produced in the sixties and seventies of the last century in Germany. No other european country created such an amount of different shapes and glazes in ceramics. Today some of the vases from these years are hunted by collectors. Lava-glazed vases from Roth Keramik are sold for enormous sums of money on Ebay and on other forums. A helpful book for finding treasures might be "Fat Lava - West German Ceramics of the 1960s & 70s" by Mark Hill.

 Large vase designed by Bodo Mans, 
Bay Keramik

 Vase with glazed and unglazed stripes, 
Bay Keramik

 Vase with floral pattern, Bay Keramik

 Large vase, Bay Keramik

 Vase with wild pattern, Scheurich

 Blue vase, Scheurich

 Red vase with blue lines on the edges, 

Fat-lava-vase, Roth Keramik

Friday, March 21, 2014

Galerie 3107

In an old bunker in Kreuzberg, which has been a gasometer before, you find Askan Striepe´s gallery 3107, which offers vintage and contemporary design objects. You find furniture by Verner Panton, Arne Jacobsen, Dieter Rams as well as designs by Ron Arad, Konstantin Grcic or Philippe Starck. Also ceramic by Bitossi and glass objects by Iittala, Kosta Boda and many more are offered.

 Vases from several decades

 Bitossi ceramic and dinnerware "Teema" by Iittala

Glass vases "Vivienne" by Ludvig Löfgren,
Kosta Boda

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Fascination Of Glass

I do not know what it is, but glassware, especially coloured glass, has a certain fascination for me.
The vases of finnish glass manufacturer Riihimaki (later called Riihimaen Lasi Oy) for example, often come in bright colours and various fantastic shapes. Also some czech or german companies produced beautiful pieces in the sixties and seventies. Sometimes it seems difficult to decide which glass to collect and which not, there are so many choices...
A lot of the most interesting glass manufacturers of the twentieth century can be found on

Green  Riihimaki vase by Tamara Aladin

 Riihimaki vase by Tamara Aladin

 Yellow vase, origin unknown

 "Lens" vase by Rudolf Schrötter, 
Sklo Union, Czechoslovakia

 Two vases by Hermanova Glassworks, 

 Harzkristall-vase by Marita Voigt, Germany

 Sixties-vase by WMF, Germany, Designer unknown

Gulvase by Otto Brauer, Holmegaard, Denmark

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mark Hill

I bought some books by Mark Hill, he is a British antiques expert, TV presenter, author and publisher. Two books by him especially attracted my attention: "Fat Lava, west german ceramics of the 1960s & 70s", and "Alla Moda, italian ceramics of the 1950s - 70s".
"Fat Lava" is about the trendy german pottery with lava-glazes, that is very sought-after in the last years. The book gives a lot of information about several companies and shows the variety of the objects of that period.
"Alla Moda" helps you to identify italian ceramic brands like Bitossi, Bertoncello or Fratelli Fanciullacci. The books have got price-lists with them, so that you can evaluate the value of your finds on fleamarkets or in vintage shops. Even in the 60s and 70s there have been produced copies of successful designs, so that today vintage buyers are often confused and ask themselves, is this an original or not? These books help you make this sure, they are really helpful and informative for aficionados of mid century ceramics. 

 Angular Rimini-Blu-vase by Bitossi

 Red ceramic cockerel, 
often considered as Bitossi figurine, 
but probably from Portugal


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Berlin Icon

The Berlin television tower, that was built close to Alexanderplatz in Mitte between 1965 and 1969 by the administration of the German Democratic Republic, is one of Berlin´s iconic buildings.
The design of the tower, that somehow looks like a bowl pierced by a huge stick, also occurs in other objects. It seems that the TV-tower had an influence on many designers of that era. There also has been an official souvenir-vase that could have been bought in the base of the tower.
The faceted bowl of the tower actually has a light reflection that looks like a cross, but as the GDR was a state that had no interest in christian religion, the real light reflection did not occur in pictures like official drawings of the tower.

 Vintage picture from the sixties

 The former official GDR-TV-tower-souvenir, 
the "Fernsehturm"-vase

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Recently I found a strange ceramic vase on a flea market. The shape is very organic, something appearing between a plant and an animal, with a very expressive surface in brown and red-orange. 
I found out, that this vase is from the french ceramic manufacturer Vallauris in south-eastern France. Vallauris produced a lot of very interesting mid-century modern ceramics, often in a very artistic manner. In the fifties, Pablo Picasso lived and worked there and had a big influence on the artistic output of Vallauris ceramic.

I was very impressed, when I found a site that sells an identic vase like my find for a very big amount of money (Link below).
And I am wondering if I will ever again find such a strange vase?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jar / Sculpture

The Grassi Museum for applied arts in Leipzig is showing its second large exhibition about german and international postwar ceramic works with the title "Gefäss / Skulpur - Deutsche und internationale Keramik seit 1946". The first exhibition was taking place in 2008/09 and afterwards the museum got top-class beneficences from inland and abroad collectors. The actual exhibition shows 700 works by ca. 300 artists from 30 countries and five continents. So this is an excellent survey of the development of modern ceramic works. The many varieties in intentions, techniques, forms and surfaces is displayed with small showcase items as well as with huge oversized works.
Simultaneously the museum is showing the competition for the Richard-Bampi-Preis 2013 for young german ceramicists.
The exhibition is taking place until the 23rd of March 2014.

GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig
Johannisplatz 5-11
04103 Leipzig