This dramatic, hand painted stoneware dish is decorated with a central panel of anthropomorphic three-legged figures, holding hands in groups of three. Treated as silhouettes, similar to stick figures or paper dolls, the groups are separated by wavy lines that continue into the upper and lower panels of abstract, geometric designs like those on tribal pottery. Hand-holding figures like these have been found on pottery from 5000 BC in Mesopotamia; along the Jinsha River in China, also thousands of years old; on contemporary pottery from Cameroon and on a 1960's Fratelli Fanciullacci Italian vase. The rim and all the designs are all painted in black on a sandy tan stoneware rectangle with a surface like fine sandpaper, very tactile and textured. The reverse of this dished plate is plain and bears a small printed blue anchor mark with no country of origin indicated. We've seen one other dish like this one, but it was unmarked.
The dish is unglazed and in excellent condition, with no cracks or chips and two tiny lines on the front that were done in the firing (they look like a dash and a 1 and can be seen in our photos). Based on our research, we believe this is mid twentieth century art pottery. It measures 7 1/4 inches long, 6 1/4 inches top to bottom and weighs 1 1/4 pounds. It's a nice size for a grouping or to stand alone and it mixes well with both modern and tribal art.
***The WGP vase by Scheurich is part of a trio available here: