Made in the city of Kaunas in Lithuania, this charming mid century modern pottery vase is made of terra cotta clay glazed pure white. The hand painted Baltic folk art design of a ram is stylized and set into rectangles outlined in black. The alternating rectangles, also outlined in black, contain varied numbers of grey oblongs. The whimsical, geometric design is reminiscent of the Swedish pottery also made in 1960's. The vase stands 9 1/2 inches tall with a narrow 2 inch diameter mouth that is ringed in black and speckled on the inside. It flares out from the narrow neck into a bulbous body 5 1/2 inches across at its widest. The base of the vase is 3 3/8 inches across and the piece weighs 2 pounds 6 ounces. It's in excellent condition, appearing unused but for a few tiny chips on the black trim that are hard to see unless you place it at just the right level (see photo # 4).
The original export shipping label (pictured) was attached to the bottom of the vase when we acquired it, but it detached soon after. Some of the words that we were able to discern on it translate to 'Beautiful' (Daile), 'Standard' (Standartas). 'Articles' (Artikulas) and the last one is the city of origin, Kaunas. The label was partially torn, so that's all we could read. When the label came off, a mark impressed in the pottery bottom was revealed, composed of what appear to be the letters RXX. Our research indicates, however, there is no letter 'X' in the Lithuanian alphabet. Is it initials of the maker or studio, a model number or something else? We'll enclose the paper label with the vase when we ship it.
The city of Kaunas has been named one of the Top 10 Cities for Art Deco design, which artists there combined with traditional folk art themes. Kaunas was the capital of Lithuania in the 1920-1930's and after World War II, that urban Deco/folk sensibility translated to the distinctive, characteristic modern design exemplified by this vase.
Interest in the arts of Lithuania has greatly increased. In 2013, the country took part in the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, their first large scale exhibition in the U.S. Handsome Lithuanian ceramics like this vase will only become more collectible in the future.