A German Collection Acquired – part I

Large Floor Vase and Pitcher by Gerda Heuckeroth for Carstens (LEO Design)

LEO Design has just purchased an impressive collection of art pottery from a New York collector (and customer of ours).  Over the next five days, we’ll be showing selected pieces from this exciting acquisition.  Please come into the shop to see the full group—and the rest of our large collection of art pottery from the late 19th through the mid 20th centuries.

Brothers Christian and Ernst Carstens owned multiple ceramics workshops starting in 1892. Over the years, they made everything from “sanitary ware” (water coolers, mixing bowls, plumbing fixtures) to vases to decorative figurines.  They survived the first World War but were devastated by the second.  What wasn’t closed (or destroyed) ended-up, inconveniently, on the “wrong” side of the Berlin Wall.  So in 1945, right after the war, the Carstens brothers opened a new factory—Cartens of Tönnieshof—in Freden an der Leine, Lower Saxony (which happens to be in the north of Germany).  The company flourished during the post-war years—putting many Germans back-to-work and finding eager overseas buyers in the “victor countries” such as England, Australia and The United States.  As the German economy grew—and German labor became more expensive—Carstens found it difficult to remain competitive.  They shuttered operations in 1984.

Shown above, two stunning pieces made by Gerda Heuckeroth for Carstens of Tönnieshof, West Germany. On the right, an 11″ pitcher. On the left, a monumental “floor vase”—which, at 23.75” tall, is truly a “statement piece.”  We’ll talk more about Gerda Heuckeroth and her work in the days to come.

More from our newly-acquired collection tomorrow.