Großherzogliche Majolika-Manufaktur Karlsruhe, Hans Thoma, 385 mm, circa 1903
A rare earthenware clock with fusee movement, striking mechanism and lead-glazed polychrome dial; the weights are shaped like a hammer and an anvil and similarly glazed
No other than the famous painter and illustrator Hans Thoma (1839-1924) inspired Grand Duke Frederick I to establish a pottery manufactory in Karlsruhe. At the request of the sovereign Thoma had shortly before in 1899 been appointed gallery director and professor at the academy of arts in Karlsruhe; Thoma was highly respected at court. Although he was a co-founder of the Grand Ducal majolica manufactory, Thoma never had an actual contract but always acted in an advisory capacity or as designer up until 1908.
This piece of art by Thoma paved the way for a novel type of "renaissance majolica" which the factory now started producing - creatively merging historical designs with rustic pottery. The fine touches of symbolism and art nouvean put the date of origin at around the turn of the century.