This week we're commemorating the season's "sense of snow." Although Winter has yet to begin, it feels like it may snow at any time. Clean, white vases will help us prepare for the blanketing to come.
Shown above, an Art Deco two-handled vase from the Thirties. It was made by Stangl in Trenton, New Jersey. But the Stangl company took a long and winding path to the Thirties.
Samuel Hill opened the Samuel Hill Pottery in Flemington, New Jersey, in 1814. They made functional, fairly primitive items: red clay water/sewage pipes and stoneware crocks (for food storage). Potter Abraham Fulper later joined the partnership and, in 1860, purchased the company outright (at which point he changed the name to Fulper Pottery). Fulper expanded the product range to include cookware, water cooler bases, jugs and (eventually) a line of sophisticated decorative ceramic artwares—vases, lamps and sculptures with glazes which emulated the mysterious glazes of ancient China (the ceramics "gold standard" which Westerners had been long trying to copy). Alas, although these pieces commanded high, studio-quality prices, their production was slow and the glazes were unreliable. Thus, each piece was unique—lovely as a limited art piece, bad as a unit of mass-production. Such ceramics production would always only appeal to a limited clientele with high discretionary spending. In 1928, production was relocated to Trenton, New Jersey.
In time, Johann Martin Stangl purchased the company, changed its name, and moved production away from the Chinese style product line. He developed a more mass-production oriented line of items: vases, milk jugs, creamers and animal figurines (items which leant themselves to reliable, high-volume manufacturing). He also developed dinnerware lines which remain collectable to this day.
The Art Deco vase, shown above, was made in the Thirties. It takes a classic urn form, adds dramatic, "lop-eared" handles, and is finished in a satiny white glaze. It perfectly captures its time period—the Thirties—and its ceramic body and glaze were reproducible en masse to make them affordable and profitable. Click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome piece.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248