SEBASTIANO BUSCETTA 'MEHIKANA' TEA SET FOR GRÄFLICH ORTENBURG
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A very nice 50's-era seven-piece tea set in the 'Mehikana,' or 'Mexican,' décor designed by Sebastiano Buscetta for GRÄFLICH ORTENBURG TAMBACH. 'Mehikana' was introduced in 1958.
GRÄFLICH ORTENBURG was founded in 1946 by Hungarian count Alram Graf zu Ortenburg (1925 - 2007) on his family's estate in Tambach, Germany. Several clay pits had been developed on the property in 1939, and upon inheriting it, the Count decided to open a ceramics workshop in a side wing of his castle, Schloß Tambach. Initial production focused on highly ornate, painted ceramic vases, bowls, and wall plates, all decorated by hand in an affiliated studio. As the decades progressed, more and more exciting Modernist designs—especially out of Italy—caught the Count's eye, and he re-aligned the studio's aesthetic to take advantage of this new post-War trend.
In 1949 the workshops in Gräflich began producing coffee and tea services. For cost reasons, only very few pieces were hand-painted. At this time, international designers such as Tunisian sculptor Sebastiano Buscetta and American stylist Irene Pasinski were hired; their many beautiful modern designs helped the company achieve international success.
The later production of GRÄFLICH ORTENBURG was known for its heavy, rounded, Bauhaus-inspired shapes made of dark red clay. Glazes were luxurious—thick and glassy. These innovations achieved great popularity as the post-war German Art Pottery industry burgeoned. In 1968, due to flagging sales, the Count closed-down the ceramics studio and (as he was a sportsman) converted his estate into a game reserve. It survives to this day as a wildlife park.
Production Period – 1950-1959
Country of Origin – WEST GERMANY
Designer – SEBASTIANO BUSCETTA
Maker – GRÄFLICH ORTENBURG
Attribution – MARKED
Materials – CERAMIC
Colors – YELLOW
Condition – VERY GOOD (no defects; may show slight traces of use)