MID CENTURY ITALIAN FRATELLI FANCIULLACCI “BRICK” PITCHER
SUPERB MID CENTURY ITALIAN FRATELLI FANCIULLACCI “BRICK” PITCHER FEATURING THE STUDIOS HIGHLY TEXTURED OUTER GLAZE
PRESENTING WITH BLOCKS OF COLOUR INCLUDING PINK, YELLOW, BLUE, MAROON AND GREY SPLIT WITH SMOOTH AREAS OF HIGH GLOSS WHITE
HEAVILY TEXTURED HANDLE AND SPOUT
THE INTERIOR IS HIGHLY GLAZED IN A BRIGHT PINK TONE
FULLY SIGNED BENEATH WITH “ITALY” ALONG WITH A MODEL CODE “1944”…. POSSIBLY A DATE THOUGH I BELIEVE THIS DESIGN WAS NOT PRODUCED UNTIL THE EARLY 1950’S
A STRIKING EXAMPLE MEASURING 180MM TALL BY 100MM IN DIAMETER OR 160MM ACROSS HANDLE TO SPOUT
OFFERED IN EXCELLENT VINTAGE ORDER WITHOUT ISSUE
CIRCA MID CENTURY ITALY
The Fratelli Fanciullacci pottery was established in Capraia Fiorentino in 1862 (conflicting reports give a date of 1858) by Raffaello Fanciullacci (1803-1881). The company originally confined itself to making simple, utilitarian, table and kitchenware, jars, etc (stovigliere, in Italian). By 1880 the pottery’s name was changed from Ceramiche Capraia (with the figure of a wolf and a goat as its logo) to The Brothers (Fratelli) Fanciullacci.
In 1911 it was decided to move the operation from Capraia to the other side of the Arno River in Montelupo. They were such an immediate success that by 1914 the company had over 1,000 different moulds thus making their range of offerings one the most appealing in the country and making the pottery the largest employer in the area.
During these early years the firm continued to concentrate on the manufacture of stovigliere but slowly branched out onto a rich repertoire of artistic products. They understood the pulse of both the Italian people and American consumer (the company’s main export destination). The brothers produced works in the latest styles as soon as they appeared. At the end of World War II, Colorificio, the parent company of Bitossi took control of Fratelli Fanciullacci but allowed the family to operate the factory with very little corporate interference.
On November 4, 1966 the Arno River flooded. It was the worst flood since 1557. Many people died and many of the art treasures, ancient manuscripts and monuments of Florence were lost. More than forty years later restoration and preservation work still continues. In Montelupo Fiorentino the Fratelli Fanciullacci was hard hit. More than a thousand priceless moulds, many dating back to company’s founding in 1911, were lost. The kilns were destroyed, the raw clay inventory was wiped out as was the company inventory of finished products destined for export to the U.S.. The company closed down operations for more than a year and without work many of the firm’s most talented artist and craftsmen left the area to find work and new housing for their families. Some production was shifted to a new temporary factory in Florence while the Montelupo site was being renovated. Production and quality slipped dramatically in Montelupo after 1966 and this is the year given by collectors as the last of the Fanciullacci ceramics worthy of collecting. Fratelli Fanciullacci made a brave attempt to re-establish itself but it never seemed to recreate that spark of artistic genius that allowed it to shine in the first half of the twentieth century. Fratelli Fanciullacci ceased all operations in 1988