Posted 10 years ago
In the 1980’s many South Africans left Africa and migrated to other shores. They brought with them objects from earlier times in South Africa. Here in Sydney Australia it is now not uncommon to find little hidden treasures; I’ve even known of English auction houses to send specialists on annual trips here to view items of South African interest for the international market. I have seen paintings here by Welcome Mandla Koboka in Vinnies that have been taken back to London for the international market in South African art.
So too in the applied arts you now find smaller items like this framed tile. It has all the information one need printed on the back of the tile.
Sammy Liebermann established Liebermann Pottery in Johannesburg in 1952 with an extensive range of traditional handmade cottage tableware and dinnerware and ceramic picture tiles.It seems that the tiles were the work of Annemarie Berry, Magda Jasinska and Mary Liebermann ( the wife of Sammy Liebermann).
This tile is called “The bird maidens.”
Kuko the bride and her groom to be rode on a white ox on their way to their wedding . A monstrous lizard put a spell on her and despoiled her bit by bit and turned her and her attendant maidens into little green birds. Girls by day and birds by night was their fate until finally the lizard was trapped and killed. The groom at last reclaimed his bride.
I like the modernist approach to the telling of the tale. It reminds me of the pottery made not only here in Australia in the 1950’s that has an ’indigenous theme’. I think inky will see the connection. There are links too to the wares made in Austria and elsewhere of African figures during the post-war period especially those by Richard Rohac, Hagenauer and a favourite of mine Leopold Anzengruber.