Tag Archives: W. german pottery designers

Bay Keramik, Bodo Mans, and What’s in a Name

(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.

Bay Keramik vase 575
Bay shape 575 with a circa 1960 decor, no current attribution to designer.

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.