Currently held on consignment at Andrews Oakville
This ultra-chic work of mid-century Modern ceramic is by Italian pottery Bertoncello Ceramiche D'Arte (estd. c. 1956 - c. 1999). The sculptural form firmly displays influences of Modernist design and even Escher-esque optical illusion qualities. The overall shape is that of an oval with a soft twist; the easiest way to describe this is if you imagine slicing an ovoid in half lengthways and then holding it lengthways - you gently twist one side downwards as you bring the other side upwards. Depending on the angle from which you view the piece, the dramatic curves will make one side appear thicker than the other. However, both sides are actually the same as each other and it is where the 'twist' was applied diagonally that gives the piece its optical illusory qualities.
Further elevating this piece is the sumptuous glaze that is immensely silky and invites touch. The glaze is one of two Bertoncello signature glazes and visually presents as a refined blending of rich, Vanilla Cream that is feathered with deep sienna, giving additional depth. Take a step back to view these pieces as a whole and the effect resembles leather or marbled stone.
Like many other Italian potteries that were popular during the mid-century period, little is known about the pottery but the exceptional quality of design undeniably speaks for itself.
Excellent. No chips, cracks, or repairs. The most notable wear are movement marks on the underside of the base, on the four feet, and is commensurable with the age of the piece. Please refer to photographs as they form part of the condition report. Base bears model number '967'.
Height: c. 3.7" / 9.5 cm x c. 11.4" / 29 cm length (across longest point). Width: c. 7.9" / 20 cm (across widest point). Base measurements: c. 4.1" / 10.5 cm x c. 2.8" / 7 cm. Unpackaged weight: c. 1.1 kg / 1,085 g
A BIT OF HISTORY
Bertoncello Ceramiche D'Arte was founded in Schiavon, Italy around 1956 and was first known as LBP, an acronym created with the first letters of the founders surnames Mr Lini, Giovanni Bertoncello and Mr Pizzato.
For many years it was run solely by Giovanni Bertoncello (b. 1930 - d. 2011) and his brother Felice after Mr Lini left the company a few years after the pottery's founding. By the 1970s the pottery had grown to a staff of around 30 with Giovanni being the creative driving force behind the forms and glazes. In the early years Giovanni benefited from some support by a a Venetian teacher, Mr. Boatto. Sadly not a lot is known about the company as all its catalogues and archives were destroyed when the company closed in 1999, however, the legacy of Bertoncello's design is undeniable in the history of Italian mid century art ceramics.
Bertoncello's signature designs are often very sculptural, with echoes from geometricism and modern architecture. Dramatic curves, rounded edges and corners, pierced forms and an organic feel are recurring features.