Vintage California postwar pop pottery


The flamboyance of Hedi Schoop and Sascha Brastoff :


During WW2 and immediately after, foreign imports into the  USA had been cut off, resulting in the flourishing of domestic art pottery firms. This was further supported by the postwar building boom, especially in states like California. The demand for decorative and functional pottery wares was high, especially from the new homes being furnished. The shared sacrifices of the war were gone and the ceramic products reflected the new optimism with free flowing styles, fun, kitsch and heart warming designs. A lot of the decorative figurines expressed motion, from walking to dancing and other movements, capturing the mood shift.. TV’s were also selling in huge numbers so sales of ceramic TV lamps also flourished. Two influential ceramic artists from this time are featured below.




 Vintage Hedi Schoop harlequin dancers


Hedi Schoop

One of the designers at the forefront of this era of Mid Century ceramic design was Hedi Koop. Having fled Europe in 1933 with her composer husband ( Friedrich Hollander ),  she resettled in California and in 1940 opened up a pottery studio in Hollywood, focusing on the popular figurines along with planters, ashtrays, lamps, bowls and vases. She had studied sculpture, architecture, painting, and fashion design at several European art institutions including Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna and Reimann Institute in Berlin. Her innovative California pottery designs were style defining  at this time and widely imitated. If a Schoop figure proved popular with consumers, an entire line of accompanying décor objects were created.  At the height of her success,  “Hedi Schoop Art Creations” produced over 30,000 giftware items per year, and employed over fifty workers. She designed and modelled almost every piece in her line. Her figurines are the most sought after as a collectible.


Vintage ceramic bowl/planter by Hedi Schoop has sparkling gold trim over rose pink, and has incredible detailed texture. Shaped in a winding S-curve, the piece looks different from any angle when displayed in the round. Dates to circa 1950s, I think, based on the generous application of gold and the color.

( Elle Jay – Etsy  )

phantasy dancer hedi schoop

Phantasy Dancer – Hedi Schoop

Vintage Hedi Schoop Poodle ashtray

Vintage Hedi Schoop Poodle ashtray

HEDI SCHOOP scalloped ruffle vase

 Scalloped ruffle vase – Hedi Shcoop California Vintage

mid-century hedi schoop figurine

Mid-century hedi schoop figurine


Hedi Schoop ceramic King Queen pair


Figurines, dancer with mandolin player  – Hedi Schoop

Hedi Schoop vase


A pair of poodles – Hedi Schoop

( hepcat restorations )1


Hedi Schoop modernist cat hedi-schoop-lamp

TV Lamp

Two Hedi Schoop Dancer Figurines.In the middle is a ceramic deer TV lamp by Krim    1

hedi schoop photo

Hedi Schoop


Comedy Tragedy TV lamp


Hedi Schoop lady figurine

hedi schoop vase

Salmon Pink Swirl Vase  – Hedi Schoop

hedi skyscrapers tv lamp

Skyscrapers TV Lamp

( hepcat restorations )

hedi schoop ceramic figurine

Hedi Schoop dancing figurine planter

 Hedi Schoop did work with her sister Trudi  in European dance and cabaret before she left Germany for America  in 1933.

Hedi Schoop Original Cat Plaque plate.jpg

Cat face wall plaque/plate


Hedi Schoop 1960s Pottery Chip, Bread Platter and Dip Sauce Bowls


Vintage Hedi Schoop Basket


  Iridescent Glaze Geisha Girl Vase


Sascha Brastoff


Sascha Brastoff was also a successful  Los Angeles ceramic designer at this time, who had a flair for promotion, mixing freely with Hollywood stars and celebrities. His bold, colourful  and flamboyant creations fitted perfectly into this postwar era of  adventurous ceramic design. Sascha began creating ceramics in New York  in the early 40’s.  After a stint in the Air Force followed by working as a costume designer with Fox Studios in Hollywood, he set up a ceramics plant in West Los Angeles called Sascha Brastoff Product’s Incorporated with the backing of Winthorpe B. Rockefeller. In the mid 1960″s other art pottery makers such as Stangl and Royal Haeger were licensed to use Sascha’s name trademark. These items usually have a thick black cursive SB signature near the maker’s mark. His unique pieces, many displaying a modernist flair, have become a favourite with collectors.

405px-446px-Sascha-brastoff-bowl.jpgLarge Bowl – Sascha Bastoff

( Haegernerd – Flikr )


Gold enamel fruit bowl


Modernist vase – Sascha Brastoff

Sascha Brastoff Coffee Pot

Sascha Brastoff Coffee Pot


Sascha Brastoff  hand painted charger


Mid-century carved vase – Sascha Brastoff

Sascha Brastoff enamel ashtray, lighter and cigarette holder set


Rooftops – tall lidded pitcher

Sascha-Bratoff Sascha-Brastoff-absract-plateSascha Brastoff absract plateSascha-Brestoff-ceramic-artSascha Brastoff ceramic art
Sascha Brastoff plate

Sascha Brastoff plate


Pagoda’s decorative plate

Sascha Brastoff abstract series vase

sascha-brastoff-red-black-lava-ashtraySascha Brastoff  – red black ashtray


Vintage modernist wall plate

blackgold surf ballet- ceramic coffee pot

Blackgold surf ballet- ceramic coffee pot


Mid-century abstract fish mosaic platter – Sascha Barstoff


Aztec bird shaped bowl – Sascha Brastoff

clemison pottery california

Mid-Century salt and pepper shakers – Cleminson Pottery of California


A decorative wall plaque/plate by Marc Bellaire who was a protege of Sascha Brastoff, who eventually became a  competitor.


A fabulous head vase from this era designed by Kathi Urbach

Sources cited :    Who Killed American Kitsch? by Ben Marks

More posts:


  1. Pat
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Found your exciting website by chance. It’s wonderful. I’ll be going back to visit when I can.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted September 14, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Need price on tv. lamp

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.