Hand Painted china is beautiful no matter if executed in a factory decorating department, professional decorating studio or by skilled individuals in a home studio environment. During the late 1800's and early 1900's this became a favorite hobby of many American ladies who would purchase china blanks from various companies and create their own works of art.
This esoteric motif hand painted vase, circa 1910, was executed in a home studio. It is the most unique, almost mystical, motif I have ever encountered. The octangular shaped blank is composed of narrow and wide panels which presents an interesting shape. The black background gives the illusion that the decorative images are peering out of the darkness. There are two panels depicting a ladies form draped in colors of gray, burnt orange and yellow with facial and other features outlined in black. Delicate pastel blue-gray and pinkish flowers outlined in black appear on other panels. In several small cartouches it appears to show the letters "H H", perhaps the initials of the artist.
The vase measures 10 1/2" in height, the top opening is 4" x # 3 1/4", the base is 6 1/2" x 4 1/2". The back-stamp, circa 1891-1917, "MZ Austria" is the logo for the Starorolsky Porcelain Company founded in 1810. It was purchased Moritz Zdekauer in 1884 and the letters "MZ" have been maintained in the logo ever since. There are no cracks, chips or repairs. Definitely a one-of-a-kind design and hauntingly beautiful.
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