Posted 3 years ago
I found this on an auction site here in Sydney. I had seen the mark before and knew that it was Amphora. The seller described it as being Lawrence of Arabia. I thought that it predated T.E. Lawrence's exploits in the Middle East. Still his title captured the romance behind Europe's fascination for Arab culture in the Art Nouveau period.
The makers were Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel Amphora, a pottery factory in Trnovany, Czech Republic (Turn-Teplitz, Bohemia Austria).
I love the subdued gilding and the colour tones on these Amphora pieces.
Funnily enough I went into an Antique shop four blocks from where I live and I found another of these pieces. Ten times larger than mine, it is huge! It has a base almost five foot long! Amphora was capable of monumental work. These figures are unpopular today. But sometimes your tastes are not like those of the majority. Orientalism and Africanism may well have their day.
Some of their Arab figures are not painted. Others like mine have polychrome decoration with gilded highlights. Eduard Stellmacher signed busts of Bedouins and I believe he might have designed my Bedouin: Un messager du désert.