The Picasso ceramics market doesn’t seem to be driven by aspirational collectors who cannot afford the master’s drawings and paintings but that doesn’t stop the newspapers from regularly rediscovering the category as the Telegraph does with this week’s sale at Christie’s. Luckily, they also provide this primer on the enterprise:
In the summer of 1946, following a period of profound introspection in Nazi-occupied Paris during the Second World War, Picasso’s interest in ceramics was kindled by a visit to a pottery exhibition at Vallauris, in the South of France. Particularly taken with the exhibits on the Madoura pottery stall, he struck up a friendship with owners Suzanne and George Ramié, and on a visit to their pottery designed a few pieces. Returning a year later, he was given an area at Madoura to produce his own designs, which he worked on at intervals right up until the late 1960s.
Mostly comprising plates, dishes, jugs, pitchers, vases, plaques, and tiles, Picasso conceived over 3,500 designs there, and although many were one-offs, the majority that come on to the market today are from one of two ranges of limited editions. Those printed directly from plaster moulds carved and shaped by Picasso himself are stamped Empreinte Original de Picasso on the underside, together with the impression Editions Picasso. Those limited editions produced by Madoura craftsmen copying the forms and hand-painted imagery of Picasso’s original designs are impressed Editions Picasso. In addition to also carrying a Madoura or Madoura Pottery mark, many pieces also have a design number, the number of editions, and sometimes a date.
Picasso ceramics at Christie’s sale (Telegraph)