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Donkey Carts

This section will offer discussions on the subject of the various genre and forms of italian ceramics that some collectors specialize in

Donkey Carts

Postby wdel » June 7th, 2010, 2:22 am

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Oct.21, 2011 - Addendum
I have come across an article discussing these carts and donkeys that offers an interesting insight. According to the author, Tiziana, of "Thats Arte.Com" she refers to these collectibles as "Ciucci". Tiziana lives in Italy and speaks Italian. I live in the U.S.A. and I don't speak Italian so I must defer to her. My problem with that label is that according to Italian-English dictionaries Ciucci is the plural for baby pacifiers. When I do an internet search for Ciucci the only images that appear are indeed baby pacifiers. I will leave it to the reader to decide what to call these. I have included a link to her article.
What I found of particular interest in the article was the naming of the original creator of these ceramic donkeys and their carts as Richard Doelker, a German artist who lived and worked in Vietri Sul Mar from 1927 until 1933.
http://www.thatsarte.com/blog/highlight ... ttery-art/
Modified October 21, 2011
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The donkey still has relevant importance throughout mountainous landscape of Southern Italy and Sicily. He can go where even the most modern four-wheel drive vehicles cannot. This important beast of burden was introduced into the area by the ancient Greek colonists beginning about 800 years before the birth of Christ and the descendants of those Greek donkeys often travel the same narrow trails up and down rocky hills and mountains that the colonists did.

There are two forms of ceramic figurines found on the market. The most popular and easiest to collect is the donkey and cart (carrettos). They are symbolic of the carts used in Sicily and Southern Italy. They are called Carretto Siciliano in Italian or Carrettu Sicilianu in Sicilian. The real ones are considered an art form and there is a museum devoted to them in Palermo. There are essentially two types of carts; those used for work,"Carretto del Lavoro" and those created for festivals, parades and weddings, "Carretto de Gara". The second type of ceramic donkey is depicted with baskets that hang down its sides . They are commonly called Ciuccio, which literally translates as "pacifier". In real life these little equines go where even the carrettos dare not.

Ceramic examples of the little carrettos and Ciuccio are sold all over Sicily and Southern Italy as souvenirs. They have been popular collectibles since the 1920's when Richard Doelker began making his clay models. Most of these examples are produced in molds and painted by hand in small, family-owned potteries and generally sell to tourists for only a few dollars, however, some examples are completely made by hand and can be quite beautiful and very expensive.

The most desirable pieces are those that were hand made from the 1920's through the 1940's . These examples were made by such famous artists as Guido Gambone, Richard Doelker, Barbara Hannasch and Irene Kowalski. These bear the names of such famous potteries as ICS, MACS, Fontana Limite, etc. Examples signed by these artists or bearing the pottery's name can cost several hundred dollars or more.

For almost a hundred years these figurines have served as planters, cut flower containers, nut dishes, spare change receptacles and any number of other creative uses. There are many collectors here and in Europe and I am told that collecting these charismatic donkeys is quite addictive.

Walter Del Pellegrino

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This beautiful example was produced by Fratelli Fanciullacci of Montelupo in the 1930's and 40's


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wdel
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Re: Donkey Carts

Postby tenpot » July 2nd, 2010, 8:46 am

Image[/URL] Image this donkey was my grandmothers probably40s
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Unique and Possibly Valuable Donkey Cart

Postby wdel » December 3rd, 2010, 8:27 am

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This piece appeared in Ebay's Pottery and Glass Forum. My response is reprinted below.

It is unfortunate that this piece has no markings because, in my opinion, if it had been marked it would probably be valued in four figures. It has all the earmarks of having been produced by one of the German or eastern European artists living in southern Italy between the 1920's through the 1940's. These European artists brought with them a modern movement which became known as the "PeriodoTedesco" or the German Period. I simply don't have the room here to go into detail but it is a fascinating period in ceramics art. Regardless of who made your Carretto (donkey cart) it is a rare example. Most ceramic carrettos are made for the tourist trade and are produced in molds by the hundreds. Your cart, however, is completely made by hand and even includes a rider (something I've never seen before). This item is one of kind. It is rare and It was meant to be a piece of ceramic art. It is worthy of doing some research, even if unmarked.
In my opinion your carretto has the distinctive style of Barbara Margaret Thewalt-Hannasch or perhaps Richard Doelker (names you should google).
Do not condemn this little gem to the yard sale table. You might be sorry
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Re: Donkey Carts

Postby Arthur Schwartz » November 27th, 2011, 12:10 am

Ciucci means donkeys in Italian. It is a slang word. In various Southern Italian dialects (including Neapolitan, which is more or less the dialect of the Amalfi Coast and Salerno, where these donkey figures were made (well, Salernitano dialect is somewhat different, though this word is the same) you might call a person you think is an ass, a ciucc' (pronounced chooch). Ciucci is plural.
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Re: Donkey Carts

Postby Arthur Schwartz » November 27th, 2011, 12:14 am

P.S. Singular, the correct word is ciuccio, as the article above indicates.
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