LARGE 15.5 INCH CHARGER - Art Nouveau? Italian Deruta?

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Post by sebillba May 14th 2015, 10:38 pm

Hi.
I have a rather nice large charger. I don't know who it is made by and who the artist may be. Its 15.5 inch in diameter. It has no makers mark and I cant see a clear signature on the painting. The picture is underglaze. It seems to be of very good quality. If anyone can shed light on this charger I would be most grateful. I have attached some pictures
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LARGE 15.5 INCH CHARGER - Art Nouveau? Italian Deruta?  Img_3826
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Post by NaomiM May 14th 2015, 11:27 pm

It looks Italian, based on a traditional style and form. I can't tell from the photos if it has much age; these images were copied for hundreds of years and are still being handpainted for tourists today.
Traditionally it would have been painted on white, tin glazed earthenware (maiolica), but from the base photo it looks like more modern porcelain.

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Post by bistoboy May 15th 2015, 12:02 am

how lovely!

my kind of ceramic Beating Heart
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Post by bistoboy May 15th 2015, 12:06 am

apparently, the instrument is known as an aulos and was often depicted in ancient art.
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Post by Potty May 15th 2015, 12:32 am

I'd not be surprised if it was from the Arts and Crafts period and done for one of the large Exhibitions of the time, going by the style and base.

I may however be way off!

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Post by NaomiM May 15th 2015, 1:08 am

That's possible Potty. The artist would have used bought in blanks from Spode or Minton or similar, so there should be a mark. There might be a signature hidden in the picture.
I have, however, seen a couple of modern pieces with just a label.
Need more idea of what it's painted on.

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Post by Mordeep June 6th 2015, 9:41 am

Sorry I'm a bit late to the party on this one.

The Arts and crafts period chargers that Potty referenced are almost all painted on blanks from one of the major pottery companies of the time like Spode, Minton, Wedgewood. It was a fashion for a period in the 1870 and 1880's for Ladies to attend classes and paint on Ceramics, those would then be sent off and fired. If the work was deemed good enough or the painter confident enough it would then be shown off in a competition or exhibition someplace. Howell and James held them regularly in London, one held in 1880 is reported to have had over 1600 hand painted pottery pieces in it. With these chargers it is common to see a name and date on the back or a signature in the design someplace. As you would expect they are very collectable and can command high prices especially if they have an exhibition label.

Yours may be one of those, look for a tiny pottery mark on the back from the company that made the blank. I would also expect to see wear around the foot to show it has been around for 130-140 years.

If you can't see those then it may indeed by a tourist one from Italy. I have seen a fair few with this type of subject over the years, most from Florence. Dating is difficult but a rule of thumb is the better the painting the older the item. It is rare to find any quality artists doing this work after the 1960's. It still would have value though, about half what an average Howell and James one would so under a hundred.




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Post by sebillba June 6th 2015, 12:26 pm

Hi, Thank you for the replies, they are all interesting.
The charger certainly has some age to it. Signs of wear, tiny chips light crazing and signs of handling, scratches. It also could do with a gentle wash!! There is however no makers mark for the blank... there looks some initials on the picture but so hard to make out. The shading and composition does look like it was done well especially in the toning. I have looked at other Italian ceramics and looks like it could be the source.... No mark saying "Italy" "made in Italy" or "Foreign Made". Later Italian ceramics I would have thought had this?
Whatever the origins It looks great on my wall being so large its an eye catcher and conversation starter.
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Post by Mordeep June 6th 2015, 4:37 pm

Glad your happy with it. The chances are due to the design that it is an Italian one but that does not mean it is poor relation at all.

Italy like nearly every country in the world started to put made in stamps based on a request by the Americans in 1894 I believe. If you wanted to sell it in America you need to show the country of origin, the UK though only put England on items until about 1904 then we also added made in.

With Italian pottery if it was made for sale in the country of origin, so made to be sold in Italy then they didn't add a country stamp at all. To doubly confuse you the Italian retailers also had a lovely policy of trying to stop customers buying direct from the suppliers. So they would request pottery was left blank or just had numbers rather than manufacturers stamps forcing customers who wanted more to go back to the shop they bought it from. I think that rubbed off on a few other countries retailers. But that is why the majority of even the greatest pottery from Italy gives you little or no idea who made it.
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Post by Potty June 6th 2015, 5:02 pm

The foot/base and clay look off for Italian as far as I can see?

A closer picture of the foot/base may help though.

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