Items we’ve previously sold shown here to help people get to know W. German pottery. To see Bay items currently for sale, click here. (Page will open in a new tab.)
Bay items from the 1950s and early 60s were very popular before W. German pottery itself became popular. Some of the Bodo Mans designs fit into the decorative styles collectors wanted in the late 1980s and into the mid 1990s. The Bodo Mans items were actually more valuable then in that collector group than they are now as W.
German collectibles, which is also partly why the Bodo Mans name still resonates with collectors.
Things to Know About Bay Keramik
1. The 1950s and early 60s items remain the most popular, along with some of the embossed designs. Quality of decoration with the “painted” glazes varies widely, so select carefully and don’t overpay for a sloppy example.
2. Bay kept up when designs began changing in the early 60s, but their overall design quality began falling after that. A large percentage of Bay items are in the lower “tourist” and “kitsch” categories.
3. Despite the abundance of lesser designs and glazes, Bay still produced some excellent items into the 1980s. Reports that they ceased art pottery production in 1972 are inaccurate. They do seem
to have changed emphasis, but there are some late examples that stand as some of the best work Bay produced.
4. Bay only used white/buff clay. I am not aware of a single example in a red/brown clay. Lettering/numbering style varied widely, so not all Bay items have the lower case “y”, but it remains true that if you see the lower case “y” on an item with white clay, Bay is the first company to check…..keeping in mind that Fohr and a few other companies used that combination at times.
5. Don’t assume that every Bodo Mans design will be valuable, and don’t believe every attribution to Mans. He only worked at Bay for a fairly short time.
For more information plus items for sale, check our home page…..not just the usual suspects.
(Photos are of a Bay vase circa 1960. Use of the full West-Germany was used part of the time in the 50s and very early 60s.)
(To see our current Bay Pottery for sale, click here. Page will open in a new tab.)
Bodo Mans is one of the few designers who had established some reputation before he designed for a West German pottery company, and collectors were seeking his works for Bay years before W. German pottery became a popular collectible. Indeed, some of them sold higher then as Bodo Mans items than they do now as Bay or West German. Although this early popularity has not translated into higher prices today, it has certainly become a hot keyword with the usual results.
Based on information in the Horst Makus books, there are a few decors in the early 1960s attributed to Mans, including Reims in 1960, Istanbul in 1961, and Ravenna, also 1961. I believe some others in that era have also been documented, but I’m not certain. Unfortunately, not all the information people have managed to gather has been widely shared, much less published.
However, there are far more items wrongly attributed to Mans than rightly. It seems that every embossed design gets attributed to Mans, even if it was designed after Mans had switched to freelance work (which makes it possible but less likely for a Bay design to be by Mans).
Of course, the reality is that the name of the designer has no more effect on the aesthetics of an item than does the name of the company. Yes, it’s of interest to know who made the items, and it certainly makes searches easier. The great advantage and disadvantage of the internet is the importance of being able to run a precise search. However, we can’t let ourselves be tricked into raising market values based on names….not the name of the designer, not the name of the company, and not the name of
someone who goes on tv and says a particular item is interesting (more on that eventually in a Roth entry). We say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I believe that the beholder has a responsibility to train that eye. Collect what you want, but respect and appreciate it for what it is, good, bad, or indifferent, and consider developing that eye and becoming a better beholder who isn’t beholden to a name.
If you got here without going to the main site, you can get there by clicking here: ginforsodditiques.com. You’ll find more information plus items for sale…….not just the usual suspects. Of course, there’s a lot more to read in the blog. If you don’t have time now, please come back when you can. Meanwhile, tell your friends. Ummm, I’d be beholden if you do.