Count Alram Graf zu Ortenburg - part I

Gräflich Ortenburg West German Bauhaus Jug with Red and Black Glazing (LEO Design)

The Count Alram Graf zu Ortenburg was born in Budapest in 1925—heir to a German estate and a famous, aristocratic lineage.  When his time came to inherit the family property, he sought a way to make the estate profitable.  Since there were many clay pits in the area, he decided to open a ceramics workshop in the west wing of his castle, Schlosses Tambach, in 1946. Initial production focused on ornate, highly painted ceramic vases, bowls and teacups.  But exciting Modernist design—especially out of Italy—caught the Count's eye and he re-aligned the studio's aesthetic to take advantage of this new post-War trend.

Gräflich Ortenburg's work were known for their heavy, rounded, Bauhaus-inspired shapes—made of dark red clay.  Their glazes were luxurious, thick & glassy.  In 1968, due to insufficient sales, the Count closed-down the ceramics studio and (as he was a sportsman) converted his estate into a game reserve—which survives to this day as a wildlife park.

Please click on the photo above to learn more about this piece.

More Gräflich Ortenburg ceramics tomorrow.


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