8120 Research Blvd. #108 Austin, TX 78758 United States 512.879.1020
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Documentation Makers Label/Invoice
Origin Germany
Period 1950-1979
Materials Glazed Ceramic
H. 9.75 in; Diam. 8 in;
H. 24.77 cm; Diam. 20.32 cm;
Condition Good. Excellent Vintage Condition
Description A striking Marei Keramik vase with an abstract geometric decor in shades of brown and black with flowing elements of glossy white and turquoise. The inside is a pale glossy shade of aqua.

MAREI KERAMIK was founded in 1948 by Jean Fuss and his son in the town of Rheinbach near Bonn in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia when Fuss and then partner Josef Emons dissolved their terracotta business. (Emons established ES Keramik with his sons in the same year.) The Fuss & Emons partnership had been formed in 1921 when the two men left employment with Klein & Schardt, the predecessor of Ruscha Keramik. Its output consisted of flowerpots, ornamental ceramics, and eventually drainage pipes. With the start of WWII, production came to a near standstill—with the exception of the inserts for the so-called "Hindenburg Leichter," an important source of wartime emergency lighting. The full program was resumed as conditions normalized after the war, but the two men decided to go in different directions.

Sadly, Fuss's son died tragically in an accident in 1951, but the company retained its legal name, Majolikafabrik Rheinbach Jean Fuss & Sohn, and adopted the DBA of MAREI, a syllabic abbreviation of MAjolikafabrik RhEInbach. The focus of MAREI's initial production program was flowerpots and vases with simple surface decorations, often hand painted in engobe. However, in 1957, daughter Hildegard Fuss and her husband Wolfgang Bruchhausen joined the family business—the latter would soon assume management of the company. Soon thereafter they engaged the well-known designer Bodo Mans to enrich the MAREI product line. When Mans left a year later, he was succeeded for a short time by Walter Weiland. Weiland in turn moved on to Fohr Keramik where he rose to head of design.

It was once generally thought that MAREI had been a fairly small company and that their output peaked in the 1950s. However, further research has shown that it was actually something of a manufacturing powerhouse and that some of its best work was produced in later decades. Catalog discoveries have credited to MAREI many pieces previously attributed to Roth Keramik. (The work of historians has been confounded by MAREI's practice of reusing both form numbers and glaze names over the years.)

MAREI's most important design work dates to the 1960s and '70s and is represented by decorative, vitrified, vases, jugs, and wall tiles, many of which bear resemblances to the products of Keto, Ruscha, and Roth. Their most iconic designs include the so-called Penguin Vase and the Chimney Vase series. The MAREI brand would survive until 2016 when the firm closed its doors.
Styles / Movements Art Pottery, Mid Century, Modern
Patterns Abstract, Geometric, Modern
Dealer Reference Number e#253788130370
Incollect Reference Number 470252
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