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Bordallo Pinheiro Oyster Dish

Bordallo Pinheiro Oyster Dish

5.5" x 4" x 5"
Glazed Ceramic
PORTUGAL

The Fábrica de Faianças Artísticas Bordalo Pinheiro was founded in 1884 by the illustrator and caricaturist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro. Located in Caldas da Rainha, a town once filled with ceramic producers, where ceramics have been produced since Neolithic times, the factory was - until Bordalo Pinheiro's death in 1905 - the location of a creative industrial enterprise, similar to Arts and Crafts workshops in England and the US. When the original factory went bankrupt, Manuel Gustavo Bordalo Pinheiro purchased his father's molds and drawings at a public auction. The molds are now used by the current enterprise, founded in 1922. You might recognize their cabbage-leaf dishes, soup terrines, and bowls. But even more interesting are their fantastic animal and food creations, odd imagery coming from Bordalo Pinheiro's illustrative mind. Lobsters come alive on plates among shellfish; bees and gigantic leaves hang on walls; and oysters are turned into serving containers as you see here. Each oyster comes with a matching "coral" spoon. You only need one of these on a table to make something very interesting. Every item is hand-finished and -painted; the amount of labor that goes into each piece is impressive. It is easy to understand how the factory struggles financially with so much work going into every object.