RUSCHA KERAMIK ‘ANTIKO’ FRUIT BOWL
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A very substantial RUSCHA KERAMIK Antiko fruit bowl, with a brown and tan mottled glaze on a surface of raised concentric rings.
RUSCHA KERAMIK was launched in 1948 when Rudolf Schardt assumed management of Klein & Schardt, his father Georg's ceramics factory in Rheinbach—a small town southeast of Bonn in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a long tradition of earthenware pottery. (RUSCHA is a syllabic abbreviation of the name Rudolf Schardt.) The timing of the takeover put Schardt in a good position to take advantage of West Germany's post-war boom, and RUSCHA KERAMIK would become one of the leading lights of the "golden age" of German ceramics.
RUSCHA is credited with some of the era's key developments. It produced some very successful and innovative forms and finishes, including the iconic model Nr. 313 (Kurt Tschörner, 1954)—probably the period's most famous shape—and the Vulcano décor (Otto Gerharz, 1951)—which anticipated by decades the move toward thick, dripping fat-lava glazes.
As well as high-quality vases, RUSCHA is celebrated for exquisite wall plates, plaques, and tiles—manufactured for both indoor and outdoor applications. Specimens from the '70s often exhibit remarkable volcanic and "fat lava" glazes. When RUSCHA shuttered its factory in 1996, Scheurich Keramik acquired many of its designs and molds; distinctive silver RUSCHA labels were sometimes applied to the subsequent production.
Notes on identification: RUSCHA KERAMIK used white clay almost exclusively. Rare examples made with red-brown clay are thought to date from periods when normal supply sources ran out. Vessels are typically embossed or incised with form numbers on their bases. If a model was available in more than one size, a single digit indicating relative size follows the form number (separated by dash or virgule). Lower form numbers (< 100) are occasionally preceded by a letter. Along with a handful of other manufacturers, RUSCHA would sometimes recycle model numbers—a cause of distress for some collectors.
- Otto Gerharz
- Kurt Tschörner
- Hanns Welling
- Adele Bolz
- Heinz Siery
- Cilli Wörsdörfer
Maker – RUSCHA KERAMIK
Production Period/Year – 1970s
Origin – WEST GERMANY
Styles/Movements – MID-CENTURY MODERN; BRUTALIST; RUSTIC
Materials – CERAMIC
Colors – BROWN, COFFEE, TAN
Condition – Excellent vintage condition. Unused.
Dimensions – 11" DIAM.× 3 ½" H