Offered for sale is a very pretty stylized resting calf by Szeiler in muted beige and white china.
Joseph Szeiler was born in Hungary in 1924. Though his original ambition was to become a veterinary surgeon, he was forced to give up his studies at Budapest University because the country was in such turmoil. After fleeing to Austria, he arrived in Britain in 1948, and worked at various potteries in the Midlands, including Wade Heath, where he was employed as a caster. Joseph obviously enjoyed the work because he decided to study ceramics and learn all he could about modelling, until finally he was skilled enough to have his own business. By 1951 he was in business, working from a small rented room in Hanley, but as he had no kiln he had to carry the heavy boxes of greenware for a mile to the local tile factory which fired the pieces for him. He modelled small creatures, decorating and glazing them himself, and his love of animals is evident in his work. Four years later he had earned enough money to open his own factory at Burslem. Szeiler pieces usually bear a backstamp on the base, either the words ‘Szeiler England’ as with this one or the later pieces ‘Studio Szeiler England’ in a brown oval around a stylised ‘S’. Sometimes the marks are impressed rather than printed.
Studio Szeiler ceramics are appealing and are in the Wade style but have a character all of their own. The cool beige and blue colouring blends in well with modern décor, while their whimsical expressions, so typical of the 1950s and 60s, add a sense of fun.
Joseph Szeiler died in 1987, and soon after the factory was bought by Moorland Pottery.
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