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About Western Germany ceramics…
The end of the Second World War marked the beginning of the reconstruction of the industry in the divided country. Instead of being distinguished by manufacturer’s name, ceramics from the western part of Germany came up with a typical Mid-Century style and a guide to identify the pieces. The base numbers refer to the model (three digits) and the size in centimeters (two digits). The system was maintained from 1949 to 1990.
What are the main characteristics of German ceramics?
In addition to the base numbers, the glaze in different colors is applied almost randomly. Besides, German producers focused on manufacturing decorative elements (vases, jugs, centrepieces…) rather than complete sets of tableware.
On the Mid-Century Modern style…
Long story short: simple, clean lines, respectful use of materials and absence of decorative elements. This movement, born in the United States in 1945 (after the Second World War), extended its influence until the end of the 1960s in the fields of graphic and interior design and architecture. Mid-Century modernists looked to the future with optimism, prioritising functionality -inherited from the Bauhaus school of design- and natural materials (preferred by organicist architects such as Aalvar Alto or Frank Lloyd Wright).
Of course, the study of this style (and its name) took decades to arrive. It was the designer Cara Greenberg, with her book “Mid-Century Modern. Furniture of the 1950s” published in 1986, who came up with the key elements of this style: Mid-Century spaces are typically horizontal, with a predominance of white. The furniture is Danish design, the art is big and colorful, the lamps incorporate metal structures to bring an industrial touch.