These pieces of history are the coolest, unique pieces of art because of their design style and their historical origin. Mixed with contemporary design, these make such an interesting accent to any decor, they make for wonderful conversation pieces.
These are highly collectible because of their manufacture and the designer that transformed a struggling studio.
After its founding in 1940 the Ceramic Arts Studio of Wisconsin mostly specialized in hand-thrown pots.
After seeing only mild success, partners Lawrence Rabitt and Rueben Sand would begin looking elsewhere for inspiration.
Betty Harrington, a secretary for the State of Wisconsin, found her children playing with the clay they found from a recently excavated well.
Without any formal training in art but possessing a passionate creativity, Harrington shaped an incense burner out of the clay.
She brought it to the Ceramic Arts Studio on Blount Street, hoping to have it fired; but she found so much more.
Sand and Rabitt enjoyed her work so much, that Harrington became a permanent position as a studio designer.
Her most popular designs included figures like this exotic pair of a sultan and his harem girl.
Each figure boasts a beautifully smooth, preserved glaze and dazzling, masterful detail. The sultan wears a green, spotted shirt, lime green belt and white pants which match his white turban. He sits on a large pillow that has been treated with the "speckle-glaze" (a traditional finish for CAS figurines).
The lady lies on her stomach, propped up on her folder arms. Her white pants match his, but she wears a lemon-yellow vest adorned with a pattern of brown dots.
Their faces are both marvelously detailed; each depicts an astounding amount of emotion. Even their lips and cheeks are rosy.
The underside of each figure includes the company's traditional, painted hallmark which reads "Ceramic Arts Studio Madison Wis. ©".
The two glazed "dots" on the underside are evidence of authentic and period pieces. Originally used as an inventory control process, the dots are only on the early pieces that were designed and created under Betty Harrington's direction.
Both are in extraordinary condition, exhibiting little to no wear whatsoever. We are thrilled to say that this pair is a wonderful representation of the quality and aesthetic of CAS ceramics.
Measurements: Sultan: 4 ½" tall, base of pillow measures 3 3/8" long and 3 3/8" wide, Weight: 230.3 (8.12 oz) Harem girl: 3 ½" tall, 6 ¼" long, 1 7/8" at widest point, Weight: 155.8 grams (5.5 oz) Total weight of pair: 386.1 grams (13.62 oz)