Ceramics from Monaco are relatively new, it began in 1874 with the first pottery. It started slowly but after the second word war it boomed, thanks to the success of the Vallauris ceramics. Well known companies are: : Azureart, Céraflor, Ceramic, Ceramica, Cérart, Cérastyl, Cerdazur, Cermonac, Céroc, Monacéram and Monazur.
Connoisseurs say that you can easily detect the difference between ceramics from Vallauris and Monaco. In the factories in both cities they made more or less the same pots and lights in this style. The Monaco ceramics have darker colours and are more detailed. You can see it on the examples shown on this page.
Vallauris Big Fish Ceramic Table Lamp
You can find this lamp here on Vintageinfo
Cermonac Monaco Table Lamp
Materials: Ceramics, Bakelite socket. Fabric lampshade.
Total Height: 42 cm / 16.53”
Height: 30 cm / 11.81”
Base: 18 cm / 7.08”
Electricity: 1 bulb E14, 1 x 40 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. But preferably the smallest you can get.
Period: 1950s – 1960s.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Cermonac, Principality of Monaco.
Other versions: Many versions, all with fish, shellfish and crustaceans, bright colours, typical for the 1950s.
Ceramic art of the Côte d’Azur
The various centers of production are located in two departments of the Côte d’Azur: the Alpes-Maritimes, including the Principality of Monaco and the Var. Vallauris, in the Alpes Maritimes, has been and remains the most important production center of this region. They make ceramics for more than 2000 years, in Monaco only since 1874. After the second world war the ceramics became famous worldwide.
In 1946 Pablo Picasso visited the city and became a potter. From that moment on, Vallauris will be the meeting place of the artistic aristocracy. Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy, Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger, Georges Braque, Jean Lurçat, Édouard Pignon, Tsuguharu Foujita, Jean Cocteau, Jean Marais, André Masson, Victor Brauner, all of whom, like the Master, will try their hand at ceramics.
This intellectual abundance attracts young people eager for adventure. They were named: Michel Anasse, Dominique Baudart, Marius Bessone, Frederique Bourguet, Roger Collet, Francine Delpierre, Jean Derval, Albert Diatto, Isabelle Ferlay, Marcel Giraud, Odette Gourju, Jacques Innocenti, Irène Kostanda, Alexandre Kostanda (her son), Jean-Claude Malarmey, Marius Musarra, Lubina Naumowitch, Robert Pérot, Gilbert Portanier, Placide Saltalamacchia “AEgitna”, Max Siffredi (known as Mabyjo’s), Piot Thiry, Albert Thiry, Gilbert Valentin, Lilette , Valdemar Volkoff and many others.
In 1960, there were about 150 workshops or factories in Vallauris, three times more than in 1920. In 1970, there were more than 200.
These lamps became very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but you could find them until the late 1970s in souvenir shops along the coast throughout Europe. Some lamps and pots had labels on it with the name of the city were they were sold, as you can see on the pictures below.
The big fish has a label “Ostende”, written in French. Ostend is a coastal city in Belgium. Another one has “Le Lavandou” glued on it. Le Lavandou is some 150 km for Vallauris.