A monumental majolica punch bowl with lid and matching stand or centerpiece by Hugo Lonitz, circa mid-1800’s. This museum-quality Renaissance Revival punch bowl is the most impressive piece of majolica I have ever owned! The ornate details are extraordinary by any measure. The craftsmanship on this Palissy-style punch bowl and base is so fine that it could only have been created by a "Master Artist.” This set possesses heavy reliefs with hand-painted accents and decorations. The figural handles depict mythological beasts or manticores. On each side of the punch bowl, there are highly projected reliefs of putti or cherubs wearing laurel wreaths. The lid features a pineapple finial, which represents hospitality, friendship, and luxury. This punch bowl or centerpiece is certainly the height of luxury!
The exterior of the punch bowl is decorated with a three-dimensional relief of several joyous putti who are celebrating by playing music and dancing. Another putto is seen riding a black sheep, while a hidden Pan is also present in this scene of merriment. The under plate possesses 12 nearly 3" wide indented circles for cups. The base of the bowl has lion paw feet with a scrolled cartouche and stylized foliate design. This fantastic piece of majolica has endless allegorical motifs to observe and unravel! It is unmarked, but a virtually identical mold was incised with Hugo Lonitz’s double fish mark. Excellent, preowned condition. No breaks, cracks, chips, or crazing!!! Minimal paint losses to the gilt. This stunning Majolica antique has been virtually unscathed by the passage of time! The diameter of the under plate is approximately 22 inches, while the whole piece, when placed on its base, measures 22.5 inches tall.
This magnificent set will be double boxed and shipped in multiple boxes with full insurance. Professional packing services are included in the price of the item. Local pick-up/delivery may also be available. This antique majolica punch bowl or centerpiece will make an impressive addition to any home! Do not pass up this rare opportunity to own some of the finest majolica ever produced.
ABOUT THE MAKER:
Unlike many of the prominent English and French majolica manufacturers, not much is known about Hugo Lonitz and his factory that was in Neuhaldensleben, Germany. It has been assumed that since Neuhaldensleben (now known as Haldensleben) was in East Germany, much of the factory and factory records were bombed into oblivion or lost during World War II. It has been recorded, however that Lonitz operated his factory in Neuhaldensleben from 1868 to 1886 with moderate success. Due to increased demand for majolica, the Lonitz factory underwent a restructuring in 1886 and was in production until the factory closed in 1904 due to financial difficulties.
During the factory’s heyday, it was reported that Lonitz employed as many as 40 people and expanded his showrooms to include locations in Australia. Although Lonitz produced tableware, household utilities, and small collectibles, his factory is best known for its production of naturalistic majolica pieces, often produced in lifelike size and detail.
Lonitz exhibited at several of the 19th century world exhibitions, including the 1876 International Exhibition in Philadelphia. A descriptor in the United States Centennial Commission Reports and Awards Exhibition catalogue from that period describes Lonitz’s majolica as follows:
“Hugo Lonitz, Neuhaldensleben; near Magdeburg, Prussia. Exhibits a collection of animals and animal heads—some of them life-size, for wall and other decorations, as horses, dogs, deer, wild boar, etc.; yellow terra-cotta body of moderate hardness, painted in natural colors and fired at a low temperature. Some of these are artistically modeled and expressive and colored with judgment.“
Lonitz took much inspiration for many of his naturalistic majolica pieces from Black Forest carvings that were popular in Europe in the second half of the 19th century. Like the best Black Forest carvings of this era, Lonitz’s earth toned majolica studies depicted lifelike detail so realistically that observers often have to look twice to ensure the piece hasn’t come to life!
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Antique Majolica Hugo Lonitz Renaissance Revival Punch Bowl Centerpiece Jeweled