CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF TABLE LAMPS
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A tall pair of columnar table lamps with a frothy, gray and white glaze from CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF. The ceramic bodies rise just shy of two feet (60 cm) from black wooden bases and have been fitted with new, black drum shades with gold interiors. They will make an elegant statement in any modern interior.
CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF was founded in 1946 by Ernst Carstens and his son Christian. Their family had had a long prior history of manufacturing ceramics and porcelain in Germany, but all of its businesses had collapsed by the end of WWII. Most of the CARSTENS factories wound up on East German soil when the country was divided and so were expropriated by the DDR. Father and son built the new Tönnieshof factory on a farm of that name in Fredelsloh in Lower Saxony, just west of the border with East Germany. Production of table ceramics began in 1947; the first known decorative pieces date from the early '50s. Ernst's wife Trude Carstens served as artistic director until her death in 1965.
CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOFF was very successful for many years and produced an enormous variety of shapes and glazes. The 'Luxus' and 'Atelier' ranges were more expensive lines and they sold in large department stores—'Atelier,' launched in 1962, was the creation of renowned designer Gerda Heuckeroth. Helmut Scholtis introduced the very popular 'Ankara' décor in 1963 during a stint with CARSTENS; an example of the "wax resist" technique, it was applied to a broad array of forms. Lava glazes were employed during the second half of the 1960s. Production was eventually expanded abroad to Austria, Chile, Argentina, and Australia—it may well have topped out at close to 10,000 items daily. Other distinguished designers on CARSTENS' roster included Heinz Siery, Rudolph Christmann, and Dieter Peter. The firm went bankrupt in 1977.
Design Period – 1960-1969
Country of Origin – WEST GERMANY
Maker – CARSTENS TÖNNIESHOF
Attribution – MARKED
Materials – CERAMIC
Colors – GRAY, WHITE
Condition – VERY GOOD (no defects; may show slight traces of use)
Plug – N. AMERICAN
Height (in.) – 44.5
Diameter (in.) – 16.0