Italian 1950s Pottery Owl by Gli Etruschi

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Item number: 5526

The Gli Etruschi pottery studio opened in the early 1950's in Florence, Italy. The designer/potter was Ivo de Santis, who created hand built, whimsical Tuscan ceramics that were exported to the U.S. and distributed by the importers Raymor and Rosenthal Netter. De Santis was an eccentric potter whose works became exceptionally popular here. The translated name of the pottery is "The Etruscans."

This owl dates from the 1960's, an amusing take on the bird. It's covered in mottled, high gloss green glaze, except for the very front, which has a dark brown matte brown wash. The eyes are two pierced round circles of orange red clay, reminiscent of Life Savers and surrounded by carved "feathers." An owlish nose protrudes between them.

The bottom of the piece is painted black and impressed with the words "GLI ETRUSCHI ITALY" in a circle. The piece measures 5 1/2 inches tall to the top of an ear, about 3 1/2 inches across the center and stands on an oval base 2 by 2 /2 inches. There is a hairline in the right eye and a small old chip on the back of the left ear. In all other respects, it's in very good condition, with no other issues. It weighs 1 1/2 pounds and is a delightful piece of mid-century Italian pottery.


PYH 5526