Paul Putzki ( American, 1858 - 1936 )


Ceramic Art Company ( American , 1889 - 1906 )

c. 1894–1906
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General Description

This vase is an exceptional example of late 19th-century china painting. Paul Putzki (1858-1936) who executed this piece was one of America's foremost ceramic artists in the 1880s and 1890s. After coming to this country from Germany in 1880, he worked for awhile in East Liverpool, Ohio. After a few years he opened a studio in Chicago where he taught many students. One of his students, Mrs. P. B. Ware, persuaded Putzki to give lessons once a week in Richmond, Indiana, for herself and her friends. It was while teaching in Indiana that Putzki met Mrs. Benjamin Harrison. Following her husband's election as President, Mrs. Harrison asked Putzki to move to Washington to continue lessons with him, which he did in 1889. Putzki taught in Washington until his death in 1936. Nana Ball, who collected this example, lived in Muncie, Indiana, and probably became familiar with Putzki's work while he was in Richmond. This vase is one of the finest pieces known by Putzki. Its delicate colors and shading clearly reveal his talent as a ceramic painter. Such an ornament is achieved with mineral paints which, when fired, fuses to the ceramic body. This body shape is illustrated in the Ceramic Art Company's 1897 catalogue as shape #470. It was probably introduced by the firm around 1894. In the 1909 trade catalogue, the price for the blank was $6.00.