7-PIECE SNACK SET BY FRIDEGART GLATZLE FOR MAJOLIKA KARLSRUHE
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A beautiful snack service from MAJOLIKA KARLSRUHE, designed in 1963 by the prolific Friedegart Glatzle. The set consists of seven pieces—a larger dish for serving and six small individual plates. The fritte center glazes in red and yellow have a visual depth that is difficult to capture on camera. The red clay bodies have been covered with a matt black under-glaze and glossy clear top glazes that allow hints of the clay to show through at the edges. In good condition with two exceptions: one of the three yellow plates has a very fine hairline; one of the red ones has a shallow chip on the base ring which has been blackened with a marker to disguise it (see photos). Neither of these flaws is structurally significant, nor do they detract from the set's overall appearance or utility.
MAJOLIKA KARLSRUHE (more formally, Staatliche Majolika Manufaktur Karlsruhe) was organized at Karlsruhe in southwest Germany in 1901 when Friedrich I, the Grand Duke of Baden, agreed to build a ceramics factory at the behest of German pictorial artists Wilhelm Süs and Hans Thoma. Their goal was to revive the so-called "majolica" or faience technique, where opaque, tin-based glazes were applied to earthenware to serve as the basis for colored decoration. (The "tin" glaze used in majolica is, in reality, a lead glaze that has been rendered white and opaque by the addition of tin oxide. In the majolica production process, unglazed articles are fired and then dipped in the tin glaze, which is allowed to dry. Designs are then painted on the glaze, which sets them off and preserves them during a second, high-temperature firing.) Towards the end of the decade, a signature style of majolica developed: compositions, often including cherubim, on a blue background.
The pottery passed through various hands in the following years, at one time being occupied by Villeroy & Boch, with the premises being owned by the state of Baden. (The word "Staatliche" was added to the name to indicate state ownership in 1927.) Despite the specific nature of its name, MAJOLIKA KARLSRUHE produced a wide range of artisan ceramics and was one of Germany's leading producers of ceramics generally. The quality of production was excellent. Top designers prior to WWII included Ludwig König and Max Läuger.
The factory was badly damaged by bombs in 1944 and did not return to the full-time production of decorative goods until the 1950s. By then, business had resumed much as in pre-war days, with both company-employed and freelance designers. One of the foremost post-war designers was Friedegart Glatzle, who joined MAJOLIKA KARLSRUHE in 1951, and who, over the next 30 years, produced a huge range of designs. Other designers of note during this period included luminaries Eva Fritz-Lindner (1933–2017) and Werner Meschede (1925–1981). To this day, the company provides artists with their own studio space and commissions work from them. Product examples can be seen at the Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe.
Most MAJOLIKA KARLSRUHE pieces bear the company's name and symbol—the arms of Baden above a double-joined 'M' for Majolika-Manufaktur. Items are made with red-orange clay and are marked with a form number.
Maker – MAJOLIKA KARLSRUHE
Production Period/Year – 1960s
Designer – FRIDEGART GLATZLE
Design Period/Year – 1963
Origin – WEST GERMANY
Styles/Movements – ABSTRACT; MID-CENTURY MODERN
Materials – CERAMIC
Colors – RED, BLACK, ORANGE, YELLOW
Condition – The set is in good condition saving a single hairline crack on one of the small yellow plates and a long chip (which has been colored in with black marker) on the foot ring of one of the small red ones.
Dimensions – 6" DIAM. × 1 0" H