Giovanni de Simone (1930 - 1991) created wonderful ceramics in his studio founded in the 1960's in Palermo, Italy, like this charming platter shaped like a large fish. The pottery piece is signed "De Simone Italy 64" on the underside. The platter, made of reddish tan clay, measures 15 inches long, 2 inches high and 9 1/2 inches from top to bottom It weighs 3 pounds 6 ounces and is in pristine condition, with no damage whatsoever (white spots are, of course, from the lighting).
On the surface of the clay that's painted pure white, the hand painted colors of the decorations reflect the green, yellow and orange of Italy's citrus fruits, such as clementines, lemons and bergamots. The azure blue alludes to the Mediterranean Sea and the red color was developed by Giovanni when he studied ceramics in Faenza. It all adds up to a colorful, cheerful pottery platter by a master Italian ceramicist and artist.
>>>There is a company in Palermo called Ceramiche de Simone which currently makes copies in white clay of many of Giovanni's items, including this platter. The differences between the two are obvious. One of his daughters, Susanna, continues his tradition in her studio, "Fabbrica della Ceramica,” but her ceramics are signed "S. De Simone."