This utterly charming pottery pitcher, decorated with colorful, hand painted Swiss folk art images, was made in Hasle, Switzerland. The redware pitcher is 7 1/2 inches tall, 8 1/2 inches from spout to outer edge of the handle, with a 23 inch circumference around the plump belly and a brown-glazed bottom that measures about 4 1/4 inches across. Dressed in traditional costume, a milkmaid leads the family cow behind a hen heading toward a leafy, flowering tree. The cow, bedecked with flowers and a wonderful large bell on an embroidered collar around her neck, has another hen riding on her back. The young boy cowherd, resplendent in his native costume, follows up the rear--literally. Even the sturdy strap handle of the pitcher is decorated with pretty painted designs.
Töpferei Aebi (Aebi Pottery) is a pottery originally located in Hasle, Switzerland, which has produced its ceramics since 1901. In 1982, a new pottery was built in the town of Trubschachen. This pottery pitcher is marked on the bottom "Aebi Hasle" in hand painted red letters. We have seen pieces marked "Hasle," and "Hasle Trubschachen." There is also a paper label from Schweizer Heimatwerk (Swiss Crafts Association) which was founded by the Swiss Farmer's Association in 1930 to offer the mountain-dwelling farmers a way to sell their crafts to earn extra income. Their retail shops sell "Made in Switzerland" items such as Aebi Pottery. Aebi's traditional Emmental ceramics are still being made today in the century-old farmhouse at the local museum in Trubschachen.
Weighing 2 3/4 pounds, the pitcher is in excellent condition, with no flaws, production or otherwise, that we can discern. The interior is only partly glazed, so given the porous nature of redware, using liquids in it is not a good idea. It looks terrific displayed as is, but dried or silk stems would work, too. It's a beautiful piece of Swiss folk art, meant to be treasured as an heirloom.