- Museum number
Teapot; earthenware, cast, red body with pale pink tin glaze all over including base.
- Production date
1929-1962 (made between)
Diameter: 17.40 centimetres
Height: 16 centimetres (to top of handle)
Height: 14.30 centimetres (to top of lid)
- Curator's comments
- Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no.144.
Lindig trained initially at the Weimar Kunstgewerbeschule under Henry van de Velde (see 'Decorative Arts 1850-1959', Cat. 290 - 95) and took a diploma in sculpture at the Weimar Academy before joining the Bauhaus as a sculptor in 1919. He moved to the Pottery Workshop at Dornburg, near Weimar, in 1920, becoming technical and then business director in 1924. In 1925 the Bauhaus moved from Weimar to Dessau, but the Pottery Workshop remained at Dornburg as part of the new Staatliche Bauhochschule in Weimar. Lindig stayed on as teacher and director of the Pottery Workshop until the closure of the Bauhochschule by the Nazis in 1930. In October 1930 he took over the Dornburg teaching workshop on his own account. Sometime before this date workshop photographs were taken depicting a tea service with two teapot models, one identical with this example, the other larger with top-set raffia handle (the original Dornburg workshop photograph from Lindig's catalogue is reproduced in W. Kulz, 'Otto Lindig', Keramos, Heft 69, 1975, 70). In 1931 Lindig issued a small catalogue which showed a variant of the teapot as produced at Karlsruhe (the catalogue is reproduced in Berlin 1989, Bauhaus-Archiv Museum, 'Keramik und Bauhaus', pls 26-39).
The serial production by the Majolika-Manufaktur of Lindig's Dornburg service was initiated in 1929 as a result of the Bauhaus exhibition 'Die Gebrauchswohnung' held in the Dammerstock in Karlsruhe in 1928. The then director of the factory, Miiller von Baczko, was so struck by this exhibition that he went to Dornburg to select models for production by the Karlsruhe Majolika-Manufaktur (Karlsruhe 1979, Badisches Landesmuseum, 'Karlsruher Majolica, 67, citing a report of October 1928 in the factory archive). An account published in Die Schaulade for 1931 (Heft 10, June, 491-4) states that Lindig's designs were put into production at Karlsruhe because the Dornburg workshop could not meet the demands for regular supplies in large quantities, suggesting that the initiative may also have come partly from Lindig himself. For a complete list of models from Lindig's workshop which were produced at Karlsruhe, see Berlin 1989, 207. Some of these models were conceived as early as 1923 (see 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950', Cat. 145), but others, such as this teapot, are later works. In general, the shapes were modified slightly for casting in a thick-walled body, as distinct from the thin stoneware bodies of the Dornburg wares.
An early version of this teapot appears in a Karlsruhe manufactory Werbeprospekt of 1929 (Karlsruhe 1979, 68). For the version with top-set raffia handle, see Badische Werkkunst 2, Sondernummer Heft 1 (1931), 20; for the same model, but with metal handle, see Die Schaulade, Nuremberg 1931, 491. For the complete tea service executed by the Majolika-Manufaktur, see Die Schaulade, 1932, Heft 16, December, 687. See also Karlsruhe 1979. 431. cat.no. 358g, where it is stated that Lindig's models were produced until 1962 and that during the 1930s the service was made in a red high-fired body with a cream-coloured grey-white glaze, varying from grey to pink depending on the thickness of the glaze and the amount that the red body shows through it. Porous bodies with glazes of other colours or transparent glazes suggest a later date. The mottled pink-white glaze was coloured with zinc oxide and is still known at the factory as the 'Bauhaus' glaze. This teapot was also produced in a smaller size, model no. 3778, height 13.5cm. The significance of the letter 'B' after the model number is not known. For further examples, see Brohan III, 'Kunst der 20er und 30er Jahre, Sammlung Karl H. Brohan, Berlin. Band III, Gemaide, Skulpturen, Kunsthandwerk, Industriedesign'. Berlin 1985, no. 382, and Berlin 1989, no.312.
From 1947 to 1960, Lindig taught at the Landeskunstschule in Hamburg, with Gerhard Marcks. His assistant there was Liebfriede Bernstiel, who continued to make earlier designs from Lindig's own plaster moulds (the moulds are illustrated in her article 'Otto Lindig' in Sigill vi, Hamburg 1977). The original moulds were left in Dornburg, but Lindig remade them in Hamburg.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
Exhibited: BM, 20th-century gallery, 1994-2006
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number