These beautiful art pottery plates were hand made of a pale terracotta clay in the town of Horezu in Vâlcea County, Romania. This pottery is famous for the artistry of its intricate hand painted designs in green, brown and ochre, set against a background color known as "Horezu Ivory." Called "farfurii" in Romanian, these plates are so representative of the folklore of the town they have been placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. We've included a UNESCO photograph of a craft center in Horezu (note the rooster on the giant pottery part of the building).
These plates are each inscribed on the back with the initials of the proud man who made it; in Horezu, the men are in charge of digging the area's reddish clay and molding it into pottery. The Horezu women use various tools and brushes to create the thickly painted, raised decorations, making each piece one of a kind. It is interesting to note that some of the designs resemble those of Troyan pottery from Bulgaria, which shares a border with Romania, illustrating how folk traditions travel.
The plate with the rooster in the center is the slightly smaller one in width; it measures 9 1/4 inches in diameter, 2 1/2 inches high and weighs 1 pound 12 ounces. It has a remnant of a paper label on the back. The dish with the 9 pointed star in the center is 9 3/4 inches in diameter, 2 1/4 inches high and weighs 1 pound 6 ounces. The paper label on the back of this plate is partially readable, albeit in Romanian, and we can make out "Ceramica Horezu" and "farfurii." Each plate is pierced at the top of the foot rim, so the plate can be wall hung if you wish. Both plates are in very good condition, with no chips or cracks, but definite wear to the paint along the upper rims. The paint on the interior of the plates has very little wear on each.
These plates are unique expressions of folk art and add a colorful note of warmth and gaiety to every room.