Currently held on consignment at Andrews Oakville
This exceptional work of Swedish Mid Century Modern design is a floor vase of the Paprika series by ceramist and painter, Anna-Lisa Thomson for Upsala Ekeby.
Thomson is perhaps best known for her Paprika (Peppers) series, which she designed in 1948 and it is Paprika that would go on to become the best-selling series in Upsala-Ekeby’s history.
The series is characterised with slender, seemingly austere vases with a decor of glazed white or green, lance-shaped leaves. The combination of the leaves and the unglazed elements hit a striking contrast.
The Paprika vases and indeed, this vase is distinctly tactile. The unglazed surface is scored using the Sgraffito technique, where the 'unpolished wood' pattern is carved into the surface and the same technique is evident in the pattern of the lance-shaped leaves.
Very Good. There is one repaired and negligible chip measuring c. 1" x c. 1" [see the last 2 photos] and a hairline crack on the interior white glaze of the rim that is not visible externally. Light use wear is present on the interior of the vase - please refer to photos as they form part of the condition report. The underside of the base of the vase is stamped with Thomson's Ekeby stamp denoting 'UE, 1081, ALT'.
Height: c. 21" / 52.5 cm tall (from base to rim) x 5.1" / 13 cm base diameter. Diameter: c. 7.3" / 18.5 cm (across widest point. Rim diameter: c. 3.5" / 9 cm. Unpackaged weight: 5.2 kg / 5,170 g.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Anna-Lisa Thomson (b. 1905 - d. 1952)
Thomson received formal training at the University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design in Stockholm and shortly began her career at the St. Erik ceramic factory in Uppsala in 1930. After two years, she was the factory's artistic director.
In 1933 she joined Upsala-Ekeby, where she and Sven Erik Skawonius and Vicke Lindstrand would change the company's ceramic direction. Her work was innovative; in her exploration of new materials and decorative techniques. She developed a signature style of simple, clean forms, with inspiration often coming from nature or bodies of water.
Thomson is perhaps best known for her "Paprika" (Peppers) series which she designed in 1948. The series is characterised with slender, austere vases with glazed white or green, lance-shaped leaves which hits a striking contrast to the unglazed surface. The series was produced using the Sgraffito technique, where the pattern is carved into a glazed surface. Paprika became the best-selling series in Upsala-Ekeby’s history.
Her collaborative work with Skawonius received several international awards, including in Paris in 1937 and New York in 1939.
Thomson was also a talented painter, and she would spend part of the year in her summer cottage in Grundsund on the west coast to paint. Her work was naive, nature-inspired and colourful.
Sadly, Thomson pass away at the young age of 46 years.