These are rare. (A long extensive Internet search came up with NOT ONE of these.) This pair of GENUINE ITALIAN MAJOLICA decanter bottles were HAND MOULDED and HAND DECORATED by Marmaca of San Marino. Marmaca (1947 – 1964) was the most important factory in the republic that became known for their pottery and ceramics. By 1949 Marmaca employed almost two hundred individuals and developed a worldwide clientele for their unique modern pieces.
These bottles were designed for a liqueur...probably Luxardo as the bottom is marked LUX. These ceramic decanters have a very small hole at the top...perfect for a bud vase as shown or for taper candles.
The front of the bottle features Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of sexual love and beauty, identified as Venus by the Romans. She's semi-nude, standing next to a draped vase. The figure is raised in relief on the smooth white pottery against the textured neutral tan / yellow colors of the rest of the piece. There's a great artistic contrast between the classic image of Aphrodite against the abstract modernist shape of the bottle.
The bottle vases measure 5 3/8 inches across the bottom by 9 1/2 inches high. At side, the piece triangulates from 1 1/8 to 2 1/2 inches.
We have a theory that these were designed for Marmaca by Marcello Fantoni who was a famous Italian ceramist. His Modernist work was most prominent between 1950 and 1970 but a ceramic artist almost never signed works meant for large or even limited production so these would not have been signed by him. The last photo shown is of Fantoni pottery from the same period...note the similarities in color and texture.
These pieces are signed LUX - MARMACA MADE IN ITALY and both have the foil label printed as described above ... including GENUINE ITALIAN MAJOLICA.
Other than the subtle nuances of a hand-moulded, hand decorated piece, these are in excellent vintage condition. No cracks, chips, crazing or other notable distractions.
Whether they're Fantoni or not, these are RARE...likely made in a very small quantity.
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