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How to Collect Picasso Ceramics
With 633 different designs to choose from, curating a collection of Picasso ceramics can be a daunting task. Whether you are just starting your collection or adding to a collection you have had for generations, we wanted to give a few tips that we have learned during our time in the business.
Between the years 1947-1971, Pablo Picasso designed 633 ceramics. These pieces include bowls, pitchers, vases and tiles and the central motifs are bulls, owls, goats and fish. There are two types of ceramics: ones that are “uniques” and ones that are “editions.” The unique ceramics are ones made by Picasso’s own hand, and the editions are ones designed by Picasso but physically created by the potters in Picasso’s Madoura Pottery.
The most important part of buying a work of art is establishing its authenticity. For that reason, we always recommend buying from am auction house, gallery, or reseller that you trust and is established. Every authentic Picasso ceramic will have a marking or stamp, usually placed on the bottom, which will identify it. These markings vary across the ceramics, but the most prevalent ones are “Madoura Plein Feu” “Emprieinte Originale de Picasso” and “Edition Picasso.” Furthermore, many pieces will include what number it is of the edition, for example 10/500 or 200/250.
The first way to check the quality is to ask for detailed pictures of the piece you would like to buy from various angles. Many sellers and auction houses include detailed explanations of the quality of the piece, and it is important to read those carefully. However, since these pieces are ceramic and range between 46-70 years old, small amounts of discoloration or a hair line crack may not significantly change the value of the piece. In fact, sometimes small imperfections may be the result of the pottery process itself.
We hope this short piece has helped clear up some of the questions you may have. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. We have an incredible selection to choose from and would be honored to help you start or add to your collection.