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Monday, November 29, 2010

Bitossi for Raymor...marked or unmarked?

Guido Bitossi founded Manifattura Cavaliere Bitossi e Fioglia in 1921. The family had been involved in making roof tiles for centuries, and the 1921 enterprises added floor tiles, household ceramic items and art pottery to the line. During World War II, the Bitossi factory escaped bombing, and when they war ended, they began exporting art pottery to American companies like Raymor.

During this early period of 1921 through the 1950s, Bitossi ceramics used the painted mark of a capital letter "B" followed by a period or sometimes an underscored capital letter "B: with or without a period.

That said, many pieces of Bitossi are unmarked. Quite often large and important importers would request that the manufacturer's name be omitted so that consumers would not be able to obtain them anywhere else. This was, and still is, quite common and is the reason so much Italian pottery goes unidentified. 

Sometimes importers might actually own the design rights to a line of ceramics. Raymor is a good example. Owning the design rights allows the importer to contract with any company or number of companies to produce the wares. An importer might have two or more factories producing his line in order to ensure a constant, uninterrupted supply should one factory experience an equipment failure or a worker's strike, which was common in post-war Italy.

Experts readily admit, as does the Bitossi company, that many early pieces left the factory without the Bitossi mark. Mid-century pieces and marked as such are collectible and relatively expensive. Such pieces, whether created by Londi, Fornasetti, Sottsass, Rashid or other great 20th century designers, are works or art.

However, if an item is not clearly marked, it is probably best not to spend a large sum of money on it. Ceramiche Bitossi is willing to help the collector.  If you send a photo to the company, they will authenticate the piece for you.

From a post by Walter Del Pellegrino on 

George Nelson Meridian drink tables made by Bitossi for Raymor, 1950s

Aldo Londi, Bitossi (blue pieces in his Rimini Blu glaze)

Aldo Londi, Bitossi for Raymor

Aldo Londi, Bitossi for Raymor

Bitossi multicolor ceramics


  1. Mom bought a rimini blue dove back in the 70's.

    I have to be very honest. At the time, it simply looked like something made in the 70's, a sort of "hippie" decoration.

    When I was sorting out her estate, I almost threw the thing out!

    As luck would have it, I saw an identical one selling on eBay (with a broken tail, glued back on) for $200+. For a broken piece!

    Needless to say, I took a closer look at Moms blue bird, saw it had an original label on the bottom, and I placed it carefully on a shelf after that lol...

    Thank goodness for eBay.

  2. And then there are those of us who only find out AFTER the fact. I sold several pieces of my grandmother's Roseville pottery for $2 at a garage sale, only to see it several months later at an antique mall and realize what I'd done. Duh!

  3. Arg!!

    How frustrating!!

    Been going to thrift stores and swap meets since I was a kid. Oh if we only knew then, what we know now... The deals we could get!!

  4. During the 50s and 60s, my grandfather owned a drugstore, and my grandmother selected the merchandise for the gift department of the store. I grew up around Blenko and Fenton and Raymor...and always considered it "Mimi's junk" till I got hooked on mid-century. Oh, for that junk now!!!

  5. It says "Ceramiche Bitossi is willing to help the collector. If you send a photo to the company, they will authenticate the piece for you." I'd like to do just that--but I don't know the email address to send the photos to. Any help on that?

    1. Love the Internet! I copied and pasted "Ceramiche Bitossi" into the Google search box, and up popped the website at the top of the list. And under Contacts, like magic...the email address.

      General information: