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Table lamp as an earthenware vase, hand painted Etruscan figures in beautiful light earth tones. Rare early work by the Italian artist Marcello Fantoni. Period 1940-50.
Dimensions (without shade): height inc. bulb holder 33.5 in. (42 cm), diameter: 15.4 in. (22 cm), the height just the vase: (33 cm). 
New electric parts. One bulb (E27 26-27 mm (medium) Edison screw (ES). Max. 70 Watt. 
This item is all over in top condition. Signed with his name on the bottom of the vase plus a title or addition that is unclear to me.
Listing is for the lamp base only, shade not included!


Marcello Fantoni (1915-2011), born in Florence. Fantoni began studying ceramic art at age 12 at the Art Institute of Florence. He continued years of training in ceramics and the arts, including sculpture and figurative art, graduating as a maestro of art in 1934. After a stint as art director for a ceramics factory in Perugia, in 1936 he opened the Fantoni Ceramic Studio in Florence.

In 1937 Fantoni’s pieces were exhibited in the Florence National Arts and Crafts Exhibit. Fantoni’s melding of ancient Italian pottery techniques with decidedly Modernist elements had won him artistic and commercial success both in Italy and abroad.

Having participated in the resistance, after the War Fantoni worked for the 500-year old Maiolica factory in Deruta, Umbria, renowned for its signature tin-glazed pottery. In the 1950s he refocused on his Florence studio, dedicating himself to larger sculptural pieces. Fantoni gave special emphasis to ancient Etruscan ceramic techniques, glazes and colors, heightening the timeless appeal of his pieces. Whether created as a series or as a unique piece, every Fantoni piece was ultimately rendered unique by his hand-painting it. Through the 1950s and 1960s he made many cubist-inspired vases and ewers painted in colors bordered by sgraffito lines scratched through the paint in a manner evoking Picasso. Along with figurative and abstract works, the 1960s also saw Fantoni creating brutalist pieces with edgy, angular shapes, while in later life, his work took a minimalist turn.

In 1970 Fantoni founded the International School of Ceramic Art, dedicated to teaching ceramic arts and experimentation. His works, meanwhile, were collected by important museums worldwide. When Marcello Fantoni died in Florence in 2011 at the age of 95, his obituary in the Italian newspaper La Nazione hailed him “The master of beauty.”


Museums and Exhibitions:
MoMA New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Fine Art of Boston, Victoria and Albert Museum of London, Royal Scottish Museum of Edinburg, Museums of Modern Art of Tokyo and Kyoto, International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, National Bargello Museum and Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe of the Uffizi in Florence.

Marcello Fantoni Early Work Table Lamp, Italy

  • Excellent condition, no scratches or chips. New electric parts. We offer this light without the shade.

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