This post looks at the marble glaze, another of Titian's excellent range of mid-century art glazes. 'Marble', as with 'woodgrain' was developed by Teddy Rennie, and built on knowledge and techniques passed to him from his father, a decorator of stately homes who trained before the first World War in England. This means that these two glazes are in all probability direct decendants of techniques, passed from artisan to artisan, father to son, developed for the neo-classical interior design schemes of eighteenth century European manor houses. I have not seen comparable examples of either glaze on English or foreign ceramics, making them extraordinary examples of the inventiveness and elegance Titian was capable of.
Within their own context of post-war mid-twentieth century suburban New Zealand bungalows, these vases must have looked exotic and aspirational, but oddly quite compatible with clean, uncluttered modernist interior design aesthtics. In an era of import controls and domestic preference, they would have been the New Zealand venacular equivalent of the neo-neo-classical Wedgewood ceramics that sold so well in 1950s and 60s Britain, filling a demand for elegant eighteenth century design references that softened the increasing architectural minimalism of popular taste.
As with other Titian art glazes, they have passed though an era in which they were viewed as irredeemably kitch, but they represent the charming continuity of a comparatively ancient decorative tradition, repurposed for a culturally Europe-oriented, prosperous New Zealand middle class.
The colour palate range for this glaze is surprisingly extensive. Undoubtedly the 'signature' type is 'grey marble', but rarer examples of other colour patterns can be found. The pot below is a lampbase designed for and retailed by Eunice Chick, who owned a famous early Auckland design shop. I can only describe the colour as a sort of 'pink marble' glaze.
The lampbase has an underglazed incised mark 'W.G.' I don't yet know who this is
'Green Marble' must be one of the rarest varieties. It is simply gorgeous.
Peter Savoy has located a great example of a Titian Black Marble glaze. I think this completes the range for this glaze. Thanks so much Peter!