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Midcentury Aldo Londi Blue Glazed "Rimini" Ceramic Ashtray, Bitossi Italy, 1960s

$945.39

About

Beautiful and large round midcentury ashtray in blue glazed ceramic (Rimini Blu). This amazing piece was designed by Aldo Londi and produced by Bitossi in Italy during 1960s. This item is unique as it is handcrafted with a superb hand carved geometric design in vibrant turquoise and cobalt blue. An amazing ceramic ashtray that will complete a midcentury style living room or studio. Diameter is 26 cm. Master ceramist Aldo Londi (1911-2003) spent the most of his long and successful career creating exceptional work for Italian ceramics manufactory Bitossi Ceramiche. Londi’s hometown just outside of Florence, Montelupo Fiorentino, has been an important center for pottery production since the Renaissance. In 1922, at the age of eleven, Londi started working for Fratelli Fanciullacci, the region’s premier ceramics workshop at the time. Following World War II—upon returning to Italy from South Africa, where he was a prisoner of war—Londi became Bitossi’s Creative Director. He would hold this position for more than 50 years and would design over 1,000 objects—ranging from jugs and vases to clocks and animal figurines. Londi employed his high-level technical expertise and vast experience in traditional artisanal methods to create distinctively expressive and whimsical forms, patterns, and finishes. Londi’s best-known collection is the 1950s-era Rimini Blu (1955-1965), a now-iconic Mid-Century Modern series encompassing over 150 designs, all glazed in vibrant blue and embossed with abstract motifs and shapes. Londi created Ball Vase, his first piece in Persiano Blue, in 1955. Not long after in 1959, he began to create more pieces in this proprietary chromatic finish. The collection holds historical importance because it helped to bring handcrafted works into the modernist design conversation in Italy. Although blue was not the only color Londi utilized, it has become closely associated with his oeuvre. Londi’s last solo collection, Arkitectura (circa 1950s), was very different from his earlier work; it features elegantly minimalistic animal figures glazed in monochromatic black, white, or platinum. Starting in 1958, Londi began a fruitful collaboration with legendary architect-designer Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007), who considered Londi to be an important mentor. During his time at Bitossi, Londi also collaborated with Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988), Matteo Thun (b. 1952), and Karim Rashid (b. 1960). Most of Londi’s collections, including the Rimini Blu and Akitectura, are still in production today and are widely collected by ceramics enthusiasts. Many of his original works can be seen at the MAIB–Artistic Industrial Bitossi Museum in Montelupo, which is dedicated to the history of the company.

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    Ships From: Roma, Italy
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About the Manufacturer

Bitossi

Like a Fellini movie, the ceramics of this famed Italian company embody a creative spectrum that ranges from the playful and earthy to the high-minded and provocative. Based in Florence, Bitossi Ceramiche draws on craft traditions that date back to the 1500s. These find expression in the artisanal vintage vases and animal figures by the firm’s longtime art director Aldo Londi, as well as the colorful, totemic vessels designed by the high priest of postmodernism, Ettore Sottsass.

The company was incorporated by Guido Bitossi in 1921, though the family began making art pottery in the mid-19th century. In the 1930s, Londi came aboard, bringing with him a mindset that respected time-honored craft, yet looked also to the future. On the one hand, Londi’s perspective fostered the making of Bitossi’s popular whimsical animal figures, hand-shaped and -carved and finished in a rich azure glaze known as “Rimini Blue.”

But with his other hand, Londi reached out to thoughtful, experimental designers such as Sottsass. Starting in the 1950s, some 20 years before he founded the Memphis postmodern design collective in Milan, Sottsass used the Bitossi kilns to create timeless works that manifest both primitive forms and modern geometries. In later decades, Bitossi would welcome new generations of designers, which have included such names as Ginevra Bocini and Karim Rashid. While always looking forward, Bitossi is firm in their belief that mastery of craft is the first step towards beautiful design. As you will see from the works offered on these pages, that is a winning philosophy.

Find a collection of vintage Bitossi decorative objects, lighting and serveware on 1stDibs.

About the Seller
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Located in Roma, Italy
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Established in 1990
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