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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ćmielów Pottery

Once more, I've stumbled upon something interesting, quite by accident. I was looking through an auction catalog online, and I found a Ćmielów tea set.

The factory was started in Poland in 1790, and until the 1920s it was under the ownership of dukes and princes. From 1946-1951 the factory was under state supervision. It was during the 1950s that Ćmielów began to gain international recognition.

What the company calls its "Happy Period" (1956-1965) was marked by works by artists such as Henryk Jędrasiak, Mieczysław Naruszewicz, Hanna Orthwien, Lubomir Tomaszewski. Work from this period was presented at the Leipzig Fair, New York, Chicago and the Second Polish Industrial Exhibition in Moscow, as well as the Polish Exhibition of Glass and Ceramics in Berlin. The pieces were a great success in galleries around the world, including New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Moscow and other European capitals.

Over the years, the primary focus of the factory has been figurines, then tableware, and back to figurines again. At some point during the fascinating history of this factory, marked by fires, political upheaval, decline and reorganization, this wonderful modern tea set was produced.

From and

UPDATE: Alas, someone loved this set more than I did. I thought I had a good shot at it, because it was the only modern lot at an auction of very ornate European items, but I was quickly outbid. I had decided I would pay $50 for it, but it went for $110, and I just didn't love it that much.


  1. This has to be the most unusual tea set I have ever seen! Fantastic!!

  2. Have never seen anything like it! Another lesson much appreciated.

  3. Mmmmm...I don't know Dana. I think you shoulda' fought a lil' harder for it! Not only beautiful but rare indeed. None of us are likely to stumble upon a set (especially such a complete set!) of this any time soon. I hope you don't kick yourself later!

    Mr. Modtomic

  4. @Mr.Modtomic: It's a really unusual set, but for some reason, I couldn't work up enough enthusiasm to pay over $100 for it. If it had been a different color, I might have tried a little harder.

  5. It's not an absolute complete set though. The lid on the back of the teapot is missing in the pictures. As for the colour, I love it!!

  6. @Popalulu: (and all you other gray lovers out there) I guess what I should have said is that I like the color, but I don't use much gray in my home. I was bidding on it for myself, not for the store, and while the shapes of the pieces intrigued me, I decided not to get into a bidding war over something I wasn't even sure I was going to use. But now you and Mr. Modtomic are making me question the wisdom of that decision. I wasn't kicking myself till the two of you started making me think that I should be...:)

  7. Feeling very stupid...I have just donated a more than complete (as in I had 10 cups) of this service to charity, they didn't even want to take it...I had to persuade them....:(