Tag Archives: fish pottery

Sea Creatures Clayart


Most of the main pottery companies have had flirtations with using various marine themed designs. The sleek, sinuous and diverse shapes of most aquatic animals make them an obvious choice for decorating   curvy pottery forms and the multitude of intense colours in the sea world are well suited to the rich glazing palettes. I have included some examples from Moorcroft, Martin Brothers, Haeger, Royal Doulton, Hornsea, Bornholm, Zsolnay and other fine works from individual ceramicists.

Ancient Octopus pottery - National Archaeological Museum in Athens


Sea creatures were widely represented in the decoration of pottery during the Minoan Civilization ( Crete ), which dates back to 7000BC. The octopus motif became popular around 2700BC to 1500BC and was later adopted by the Mycenaeans. Use of the octopus motif was so widespread that it has been speculated it was an object of worship or mystical significance. The “marine style” developed to include pottery which were covered with fish, octopuses, dolphins, starfish and crabs. The Minoans were organised as a seafaring nation, and it is possible their preference of decoration was an expression of reverence to the sea, which offered protection (navy), wealth (commerce) and food (fish). Such vases and jars were made by trained craftsmen and were prized throughout the Levant ( Eastern Mediterranean ), Egypt, Geece and Northern Africa.

Early Japanese societies and other East Asian cultures used pottery before developing agriculture, and seafood was a dietary mainstay, so it’s no surprise that marine life decoration also appeared on their pottery wares. Early Christians attached special significance to the symbol of the fish and they became associated with specific Christian rituals, including the thanksgiving meal (eucharist) and baptism, and pottery fish decorations were popular in the countries of Christendom. French majolica Palissy wares, developed by Bernard Palissy in the 1500’s, then rediscovered in the 19th century, also represents another ceramic era where aquatic animals were prominently featured in its rustique style.

Red figure fish plate ca.-340–330B.CItalian Red figure fish plate ca.-340–330B.C



Ming Dynasty JiaJing Reign Red&Green Coloring Porcelain Vine Pot


A Ming Dynasty JiaJing Reign Porcelain Wine Pot





Mid Century-Italian Pottery Vase Abstract Fish Carved Design by Pleasant Valley


Italian Pottery Vase Abstract Fish Carved Design by Pleasant Valley





Natalya Sots fish motif dish


Natalya Sots fish motif dish





Natalie Ul’yanova Clay Fish


Natalie Ul’yanova Clay Fish








Goldfish design art glass vase

( Uniques and Antiques , USA )





Moorcroft Pottery-Octopus vase


Moorcroft Pottery Octopus vase






Lenci Art Deco figurine depicting an aquatic scene with a mermaid and merchild 1935


Lenci Art Deco figurine of an aquatic scene with a mermaid and merchild








A ceramic Egyptian “bolti ”  ( Nile perch ) whose breeding habits attracted the Egyptians’ attention. After the female perch lays her eggs, the fish draws them into her mouth, where they stay until they hatch and the young emerge. The Egyptians saw this as a kind of spontaneous generation and thus took the perch as a symbol of resurrection and rebirth. The figure is hollow and contains several clay pellets, representing the eggs, which when shaken served as a rattle,

( brooklynmuseum.org )






 6th grade fish figure from teacher Joyce Vogels’s art class

( Pinterest )



Katherine Hackl Sgraffitto Pottery


Katherine Hackl sgraffitto stingray, octopus and fish vessel





Koi pond vesse l- Kate & Will Jacobson


Raku Koi pond vessel – Kate & Will Jacobson







A Lambayeque blackware vessel from Peru. Both sides depict Naymlap (their most important diety) in the form of an ocean wave, delivering a bountiful harvest of fish.

700 AD – 1350 AD

(  http://ancientartifax.com/ )





Large Royal Haeger Tropical Fish Bowl late 40-s---Flickr--


Large Royal Haeger Tropical Fish Bowl late 40’s

( Flickr–Haegernerd )




Tanya Casteel Coral Pink Octopus


Tanya Casteel Coral Pink Octopus





 Egyptian Faience Fish Amulet, around 1391-1335 BCE

( RISD Museum )





Drakesbrook Antiques and Collectables Martin Brothers Grotesque style fiish sculpture made by Burslem Pottery


 Martin Brothers Grotesque style fish sculpture made by Burslem Pottery

( Drakesbrook Antiques and Collectables )




Artgirl56-Etsy fish vase

 Hand thrown stoneware vase with fish design drawn by hand with black slip (liquid clay)

Artgirl56, Wisconsin -Etsy


Curtis Benzle Softly as in a Dream ceramic bowl


 Softly as in a Dream ceramic bowl – Curtis Benzle





Ceramic seahorse wall decoration


Ceramic seahorse wall decoration

1950 – 1955

( wunderkammershop.de )





Ceramics by Anna Lambert


Ceramics vase by Anna Lambert





Ceramic Baby Seal Sculpture Anderson Ceramics


Baby Seal Sculpture – Anderson Ceramics





Bronze Fish,-1930 Hostler Burrows


Art Deco Bronze Fish sculpture – Hostler Burrows








French Palissy ware figure of a St.Pierre fish. Thomas Sergent. French. Circa 1870.







Blue fish vase Paul Bendzunas


Blue fish vase – Paul Bendzunas






Vintage Majolica sun fish


Vintage Majolica sun fish







Wine Jar with Fish and Aquatic Plants


Brooklyn Museum’s  wine jar is widely considered a masterpiece of underglaze cobalt blue and white porcelain for the deep color of its decoration, its strong contours, and the  fit of the design of fish and water plants to its form.

14th century Yuan Dynasty, China

( The William E. Hutchins Collection )





Fishing scene mosaic from North Africa


Fishing scene wall  mosaic from North Africa 





French Majolica Fish Form Sectional Dishes


Two French Majolica Fish Form Sectional Dishes, 20th c, probably by Vallauris.

( Crescent City Auction Gallery – New Orleans )





Appert Frères Carp Vase_-_Walters


 Eugène Rousseau “Japonisme” Carp Vase designed for Appert Frères, Clichy


( The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore )





Martin Brothers grotesque ware fish decorative vase


Martin Brothers grotesque ware fish design vase





Antique French Art Deco Pottery Geometric Fish Flambe Vase


Antique French Art Deco Pottery geometric fish motif vase





Vintage Mid Century Hornsea Pottery - John Clappison


Vintage Mid Century Hornsea Pottery fish bowl  – John Clappison





Vintage Ken Edwards Folk Art Hexagonal Fish Dish


Vintage Ken Edwards Folk Art Hexagonal Fish Dish






Samsung Miyagi sake pot


Samsung Miyagi sake pot




Vintage Blue MountainPottery Angel Fish


Vintage Blue Mountain Pottery Angel Fish, Canada





Vintage Bing Grondahl Crackle Glaze-Swimming Fish Vase


Vintage Bing Grondahl Crackle Glaze Swimming Fish Vase





Tiffany Scull Studiopottery.co.uk---2013


Tiffany Scull






Stylized Whale Table sculpture


Stylized Whale Table sculpture






Sylvan Bongard fish sculpture Portugal


Sylvan Bongard fish sculpture, Portugal







 Bornholm ceramic fisherman figure Starkeld.com


 Bornholm ceramic fisherman figure






Small Royal Worcester Majolica Fish Compote


Small Royal Worcester Majolica Fish Compote





Ceramic art nouveau vase with- ridescent finish depicting Sigfard and the mermaids


Sigfard and the mermaids – Zsolnay ceramic art nouveau vase with iridescent finish






Samsung Miyagi


Samsung Miyagi vase with crab motif, Japan





Royal Dalton Sung vase


Royal Dalton Sung vase





Roger Cockram fish jar


Roger Cockram lidded jar with fish decorations





Vintage ceramic carp


50’s  ceramic carp

( wunderkammershop.de )




Polia Pillin-(PolishAmerican,-1909-1992)-Vase Los-Angeles,-mid-20th-century at Skinner Auctions


Polia Pillin


( Skinner )







Palissy French Majolica–fish plate








Rene Lalique–Formose Art Deco fish vase