When thinking of the word, amphora most people think of the Greek storage vessels from Antiquity, but during the late 1800's, the region of Bohemia, now Austria and Czechoslovakia area used the word to describe a style and a name of a fine Art pottery. This pottery mostly in the new style of the time, Secession (also called Jugensdtil) and Art Nouveau, the word took on a whole new meaning. The Pottery being produced was exciting, fanciful and true to the aesthetics of the style. With the use of abstractions of nature, new and inventive glazes these pottery objects were looked at with new and invigorated artistic statement.
Here is one such example of this style, with the organic almost stylized octopus buttress handles encrusted with bright enamel paint creating a jewel effect and the metallic glaze finishing of the piece. This piece has the artistic techniques of the time coming together to create this new and exciting form.
The leading marker/ company of the time was Riessner, Stellmacher & Kessel, which is this example. The bottom is marked with the Crown and the word “Amphora” in a cartouche which will date the piece in the early 1900’s, circa 1908.
The pieces created in the late 1800’s to very early 1900’s had a more Rookwood and Grueby style with an Art Nouveau style. This style gained recognition during the 1893 Worlds Fair having won Best in Show. The strong Jugensdtil style would be a few years away and would later cement the Amphora style as a unique and stylized Art Pottery form.
For more pictures please visit this amazing example I was able to get in from a recent estate.