It’s been a very long time indeed. Since my last post, we’ve had another baby and continued to expand the empire – the pottery empire – slowly, yet surely. Potsandpots is doing well in its online incarnation, supplying pottery to buyers from around the world. We’ve had some lovely buyers, both old friends and new, come and visit us at HQ in Hadfield. It’s been great fun.
But, I can’t help feeling that it’s time to do something new with it… Perhaps it’s the New Year; perhaps it’s that now we’re out of the baby phase (finally!) I feel like I’m starting to get some of my time back. Whatever the reason, Potsandpots is well past due an upgrade. And so is my blog. The creepy Easter post has been the first thing you see for long enough! My New Year’s Resolution (well, one of them) is to do some more writing this year. So here I am. Let the Retro capers begin!*
*in reality, they have never stopped. They just weren’t being documented.
In Germany, they make a really big fuss around Easter; many homes hang little Easter eggs in their trees and gardens, and sending cards seems to be the thing to do. I don’t think I’ve ever sent an Easter card before, but it’s an excuse to get creative.Around each holiday or festival day, I love searching out vintage images associated with the event. My Halloween post is a popular one each year, so presumably I’m not alone in finding these sorts of things fascinating.
Anyway, I realised as I was searching for some pictorial inspiration just how creepy some of these images are, particularly the Victorian ones.
Albino rabbits have a lot to answer for…
Neither of them look particularly joyful…
By ‘Greeting’ they mean: “We will kill you….”
“…and possibly stuff and mount you.”
Easter Greetings! We’re here to eat your cute little chicks. Or possibly stun you with our laser glares…”
Rabbits – naturally – are a recurring theme in Easter cards. Combine these with eggs and you have:
Creepy dancing rabbits wearing eggs…
Unhinged rabbit versions of Wuthering Heights, as performed from within a giant egg…
Don’t ever accept eggs from strange rabbits.
And this, which is possibly my favourite rabbit-and-egg combo:
Translating as, “A Happy Easter” yep, it’s that classic image of a rabbit guarding his eggs with a gun. And standing on its back legs. Just be warned, I think this one might possibly be the real Easter Bunny. He doesn’t give up those eggs willingly.
Man-faced baby riding a sheep, pulling a giant egg. Mainly included for that man-face… I’m pretty sure he’s whipping that sheep, too.
Nothing says Easter like a smoking, suited chick. And just why, oh why is the wife still wearing part of her egg? Does that mean she’s not long hatched and there’s a bit of sugar-daddery going on here too?
Now here’s a theme, see if you can guess what it is:
I’m christening it: “Dead eyed rabbit serves as transportation.” These poor rabbits. Don’t they ever get a rest from their stony-countenanced chicken circus masters?
Oh, there you go. Revenge enacted by that other popular Easter symbol… er, the painting kitten. This pair look like they’re about to eat this chick.
Not if the elves get there first though… this one never stood a chance.
Actually, these elves/gnomes are really creeping me out. If someone sent me one of these, I don’t think I’d be able to put the cards up.
He draws them in with his promises of painted eggs, but look at him eyeing that chick up to the right. It’s a goner.
I’m sure you’ll agree, any of these are enough to send the shivers up anyone. I think my favourite (if that’s the appropriate word) image is of those dancing rabbits wearing the eggs. It could almost be an inspiration for the Donnie Darko film poster. I’m sure their eyes follow you round the room…
For some more creepy Easter cards and a lovely bit of information about the origins of the Easter cards, visit here.
A couple of years ago, I posted a piece about our painting of ‘Ilonka’ signed by H. Walter. The origins of the dark haired beauty’s painter still remain a mystery (despite a heck of a lot of Googling on my part… what can I say, it’s replaced good old fashioned research). However, some light may have been shed on ‘Ilonka’ herself.
One of the comments on my original post suggested that the original model for the picture could have been a famous Mexican actress called Maria Felix. There are certainly striking similarities between the two women:
Born on the 8th of April, 1914 Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, María de los Ángeles Félix Güereña was one of the most famous Mexican actresses of the era. She starred in 47 films, none of them English speaking as she always refused to learn English. There’s a fabulous obituary published here about her, which describes her life more eloquently than I ever could.
One of the more relevant and interesting points mentioned is that she was painted several times by various artists, including this gorgeous painting by Diego Rivera:
Apparently, she was furious that he had painted her in a see-through dress!
Whatever the truth is – perhaps the elusive H. Walter was inspired by Maria Felix to paint ‘Ilonka’ – Maria Felix herself is a woman worthy of comment and further discovery. By all accounts, feisty, opinionated and highly entertaining; this fascinating woman has brought some Mexican glamour to the hunt for ‘Ilonka’s origins.
Please read the following message from my friend, Stuart Brownrigg, who owns and runs that amazing WGP stall at Bygone Times in Chorley:
Dear Friends. It is with great regret that I inform you that due to serious illness, I will be forced to close down my stall at Bygone Times, in Eccleston, nr Chorley, Lancashire. To that end, I will be hosting a 25% off everything SALE commencing Sunday March 9th, 2014. All West & East German Pottery is included, as well as Italian, French and British Ceramics. There is also a good selection of art glass available. I will be there at Bygone Times of the first day of the sale and then other days as arranged or notified. Thank you in advance for your support – I need your help to ultimately sell upwards of 3000 pieces! So come along all for those bargains – EVERTHING MUST GO!
Contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +44 (0) 7917 323427
Stuart is the man who gave us some much needed advice and information six years ago, in the early days of our West German pottery collecting. Since then, he has been a font of knowledge and advice, not just for us but for many people in the WGP world. His stall – and surely, the sale – is a spectacle in itself and is well worth the trip Up North. Sadly, we will not be able to make it up there ourselves for this Sunday, but we hope to visit in the coming weeks. Hopefully, there will be a couple of pieces left for us to buy!
Last weekend we held our first grand WGP sale in our new home. We’ve been here for nearly two years now and we’ve accumulated so many pots during that time! The garage and our front reception room were truly sights to behold. Like a nincompoop, I didn’t take a picture of the front room in all of its wall-plaque glory, but here’s one of the garage before the WGP lovers of the North West (and beyond) were unleashed upon it:
It was a lovely weekend, it really was. Saturday was the busier of the two days (it was basically my friends that came on Sunday!); we had people travel from as near as round the corner and from as far away as Hamburg, Germany. It was steadily busy all day, and to be honest, I’m out of practice with taking pictures with a blog in mind. So, there aren’t as many as I would have liked.
Many of the usual suspects came along with lots of new faces; all of whom seemed very pleased with their purchases:
We were really lucky with the weather: it was cold but sunny, perfect pottery hunting conditions. Although one person who came without a coat ended up having to borrow one from Aidan…!
Thank you to everyone who came along from near and far. It really was lovely to meet all of you. If by any chance you read this, if you would like to send a picture of your pottery in situ, I’d love to add it to this post.
Find us nowadays at Facebook.com/westgermanpotsandpots to find out more info and be notified about our pottery for sale.
It’s been two years since our first, last and only West German pottery sale. That was when we were living in our old house, a wonderful two-up-two-down terrace where the pots overfilled the downstairs like the Magic Porridge Pot… Now, we live in a slightly larger abode with a double garage and we’ve decided it’s time for another one. Sale, I mean.
There is a myriad of ways you can get in contact with us to find out about this sale:
- Website: www.potsandpots.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Twitter: @potsandpots
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/westgermanpotsandpots <—- There’s an ‘event’ you can join here. If you do think you can come, please let us know. It just means I’ve got a vague idea how many crisps I need to put out.
We’ll be putting on ‘a bit of a do’ on the day. Well, some nibbles and some wine (wine is OK at 10am, isn’t it?)… and there’s no obligation to buy, whatsoever, If you just fancy coming for a bit of a chat and to meet some other WGP officianados (is that a word?), then come along!
If you’re getting short of space in your house due to the multitudes of West German pottery and other retro/vintage paraphenalia, what better way to continue the WGP theme than by utilising your wall area? Vases weren’t the only pieces to come from the ceramics factories of West Germany.
Wall plaques, wall plates, wall vases… Whatever you want to call them; stick ’em on your wall and enjoy the space you have left on the floor. Have you spotted the non-German interloper amongst those displayed in the gallery? It’s a very Bitossi-esque plate that I just had to include despite the fact that we no longer own it and nor is it, as we found out from its new owner, even made by Bitossi. No matter. I still love the plate and enjoyed having it around for a bit.
Sometimes the wall plaques and plates can be a little more difficult to identify the makers of. Ruscha often attributed their pieces, and indeed made many of the plates, in particular. However, many of the other companies just didn’t sign their work.