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Four-handled vase, (untitled), 1905
Alfred William Finch
Four-handled vase, (untitled),
Alfred William Finch,

Four-handled vase, (untitled),
1905

Alfred William Finch
*1530
g1R0
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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • (untitled) Alfred William Finch
  • (untitled) Alfred William Finch
  • (untitled) Alfred William Finch
  • (untitled) Alfred William Finch
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Listen to the text
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The massive vase with its four handles initially gives the viewer the impression of a vessel capable of transporting heavy loads. A design invention of the Art Nouveau ceramicist Alfred William Finch (1854–1930), the vase derives its archaic aura from this illusion.

The vessel designed by Alfred William Finch is glazed in a streaky matte brown. Excessive in its form, the ingenious four-handled vase presents the illusion of simple, practical usefulness. The vase can be grasped blindly from all four sides, with its oversize handles that stretch out from the body of the vessel. At the same time, they reinforce the shape of the vase and expand its effective volume by a not inconsiderable air space. The eccentric confluence of the handles at the upper rim of the vase completes this work of artistic faience. With this last gesture, in which the handles are raised into points, Finch approximates the form of a calyx. In 1883, Finch joined the Art Nouveau circle Les Vingt, led by his Belgian countryman Henry van de Velde. Although he joined as a painter, he also shared the latter’s interest in the English Arts and Crafts movement. Like van de Velde, Finch gradually moved away from painting to ceramics, which were in great demand at the time. At the invitation of Louis Sparre, owner of the Finnish company Iris, Finch relocated to Porvoo in 1897 and developed the company’s ceramics department. A transition to teaching in 1902 took him to Helsinki’s Central School of Applied Arts, where he founded a ceramics class in which a revival of Finnish ceramic arts was set in motion. (Sabine Flaschberger)

Henkelvase, 1905
Entwurf/Ausführung: Alfred William Finch
Material/Technik: Fayence, glasiert
28.5 × 18.7 cm
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK
Literatureo

Sigrid Barten (Hg.), Um 1900. Verborgene Schätze aus der Sammlung des Museums Bellerive, Zürich 1999.

Museum Bellerive, Erika Billeter (Hg.), Objekte des Jugendstils, Zürich 1975.

Image creditso

Henkelvase, 1905, Entwurf/Ausführung: Alfred William Finch
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Henkelvase und zwei Vasen, 1905–1907, Entwurf/Ausführung: Alfred William Finch
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Zierschale, vor 1907, Entwurf/Ausführung: Alfred William Finch
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Vase, 1904, Entwurf/Ausführung: Alfred William Finch
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Kontaktkopie, Steinzeug von Alfred William Finch in der Ausstellung Europäische Keramik seit 1900, 1955, Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich
Abbildung: Archiv ZHdK