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Vintage Edith Heath Mid-Century Modern Large Ashtray



Vintage Mid-Century Modern ceramic ashtray by Edith Heath Mid-Century Modern large vintage pottery ashtray by Edith Heath for Heath Ceramics. Glazed white sand color ironstone with brown unglazed bottom. Bottom Reads "Heath" Logo stamp on the bottom of this dates from 1950-1953. Measures: height: 2.5" diameter: 6.5" Handsome Mid-Century Modern ashtray by Edith Heath for Heath Ceramics. Please see photos, circa 1950-1953. The ceramics and ceramic designs of Edith Heath are phenomenal. Simplistic bowl designs with deep V’s for holding the items for smoking, with curved sides and in a light grey or oatmeal color gorgeous glaze of which Edith was a genius. This color is called Sand and was used through the 1970s. According to my correspondence with Heath Ceramics, these two forms, and ashtrays in general, were produced from 1948 through 2003. However, the logo stamp on the bottom of this dates them to 1950-1953. Thanks to Heath Ceramics for keeping such great records and being open to collectors researching vintage items. And, although made as ashtrays, this pair could also serve as beautiful trinket or key bowls. Heath Ceramics was founded by Edith Heath (1911-2005) and Brian Heath (1913-2001) in 1944. They had met in 1938 while both were working at a summer camp in Batavia, Illinois. Brian as the director and Edith as the Art Teacher. They were soon after married and moved to Chicago where Edith attended Chicago Teacher’s College and the Chicago Art institute. They then relocated to San Francisco in 1941 where Edith again furthered her art education by attending San Francisco Art Institute and UC Berkeley. Edith naturally was the designer while Brian controlled the business. They began producing their successful and renowned stoneware line in 1952 in their Sausalito factory. Later in the 1950s they began making their award-winning architectural tiles. After Brian’s death Edith continued to work until the sale of the business in 2003. Their Heath Ceramics are collected and sought after today with Edith’s studio pieces bringing the highest prices, although most are in museum collections. The business still thrives under new ownership remaining faithful to Edith’s artistic vision. They are one of the only midcentury California potteries still in existence. This ashtray is a beautiful example of Mid-Century Modern ceramics at their finest.


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