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Petra on pottery

featuring West German art pottery, Fat Lava and more 20th century ceramics

While the 1950s were, among other things, marked for a flight from the cities to the suburbs, cityscapes were a fairly popular theme in the decorative arts. You can find it on wallpaper, textiles, ceramics. In this post are two examples of a cityscape on a vase. Interestingly, they show a rather glamorous view of the city. A ‘Brigitte Bardot’-like woman leaning against a lamppost. ‘Brigitte Bardot strolling across the street in another outfit. A bit like in the movies actually. Why flee from such a lovely place? But of course these vases weren’t exactly trying to make a political statement. These were the shop-till-you-drop 1950s and what better place to put a vase with a romantic view of the city, than in a nicely decorated suburban home? In the suburbs they made the city look good.

The jug is made by Wächtersbach, form number 10249, measuring 21 cm/8.3″ in height. This shape can be found in many different decors, but this particular decor is called London. I wish I had more vases with elaborate city scenes like these, but I can’t say I have come across them a lot.

The vase below is made by Ruscha in the well known decor Paris (1956-58). This is a decor I have seen a number of times, often on wall plates or wall tiles, but also on different shapes of vases. I guess it was one of Ruscha’s more popular decors in the 1950s.

Just for the idea, I am adding two other designs from the 1950s with a cityscape pattern, one on wallpaper and one on furnishing fabric. Also to point out the marvelous collection of decorative arts in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where these designs come from. You can search an extensive part of their collections through the V&A website. (They have a Schramberg vase too!)

The copyright for these images lies with the V&A (©Victoria and Albert Museum, London). Hover over the image for a description.

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