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De Simone Bowl

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De Simone Bowl

Postby JoeyBK » August 10th, 2009, 9:36 pm

I am having great difficulty finding any information on this large 12"W X 5"H De Simone bowl. I have taken pictures next to a standard size cereal bowl for comparison. It weighs 5 pounds so it is quite heavy. Any information as to the collection it may be from and its value would be great since I have been asked to sell it for my friend. The bowl belonged to her mother and it is perfect with no cracks or chips.

Thanks for your help Walter,

JoAnn[/size]
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby wdel » August 10th, 2009, 10:05 pm

For the sake of others who stop by and to save myself some time allow me to repeat some of the information that I supplied in another forum.

Giovanni De Simone, born in 1930, opened his studio in Palermo, Sicily soon after the end of World War II. He had worked and studied for a while under the direction of Pablo Picasso and Picasso's influence remained with him until he died in 1991, Giovanni had retired ten years earlier (1981). His daughters, Rosita, Susanna, and Margherita took over the factory.

The De Simone factory closed its doors for good in September of 2008. Susanna had created her own limited production studio some years earlier and it still continues to operate.

I believe that, in large part, the company closed because of the U.S. ban on its importation due to a belief that its products contained lead and cadmium. The company had fought the Food and Drug Administration's allegations for years but to no avail. Many of De Simone's shipments to the U.S. were confiscated at the docks.
De Simone pottery, which has always been collectible, will predictably soar in price over the coming years.

Your bowl is referred to here in the U.S. as a Salad bowl but it is more correctly a Pasta Bowl. Although not signed I believe that the design and style is indicative of the work of Susanna De Simone. Some of De Simone's stock from his former factory is still available at various stores and websites. They are currently selling, retail, between $185.00 and $225.00

Walter
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby JoeyBK » August 11th, 2009, 12:27 am

Thank you Walter for the excellent information. I was unfamiliar with De Simone pottery but I may be hooked because the colors are magnificent as is the art itself. You are a wealth of knowledge and I will stop by often to gather more information on Italian pottery.

One more thing though, how can you tell if the work is Giovanni's or Susanna's? Is the subject matter different or is it just experience in looking at the pieces?

Thanks,

JoAnn
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby wdel » August 11th, 2009, 4:38 am

Excellent question. It is a matter of recognizing the artist's style. During the period that Giovanni's factory was active there were usually anywhere from four to six active decorators and although the colors and themes were fairly uniform, each had their own flair.

Giovanni usually signed his work "De Simone" on a painted area of the piece where it could be seen without turning it over. I believe he was the only one who signed his work while he maintained active control of the factory. In addition to Susanna I believe her sister, Rosita, was also a decorator but neither signed their work while at their father's factory (Giovanni's third daughter, Margherita, ran the office.) Now that Susanna has her own studio she continues her father's tradition by signing her pieces "S. De Simone" in a prominent place.

If you find yourself attracted to the pottery of De Simone be sure to look around for pieces from the studio of fellow Sicilians Nino Parrucca and La Musa. The Parrucca factory is still active today and shares much in common with De Simone in terms of the use of the bright Sicilian color palette and depictions of everyday life on the island. La Musa was established in 1949 and continues true to its sixty year history.

Susanna De Simone: http://www.lafabbricadellaceramica.it/it/azienda.html

Nino Parrucca: http://www.ceramicheninoparrucca.it/

La Musa: http://www.lamusaceramiche.com/

Walter
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby JoeyBK » August 11th, 2009, 7:38 am

I checked each link and again, fabulous pieces of Italian pottery. They look so much alike so identifying an unmarked item as to who is the maker, would be near impossible. I may have stumbled into an addiction....I love Italian pottery!!!!!!

JoAnn
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby VincentDeSimone » April 1st, 2012, 2:19 pm

Walter,

I don't know where you are getting your information, but Giovanni de Simone never studied under Picasso. Giovanni’s teachers were named; Angel Biancini & Anselmo Bucci, of the school of ceramics in Faenza Italy. Prior to this he attended school Liceo Tasso in Rome. I don't know who started the internet rumor, but they should be executed.

In my personnal opinion Picasso's influance on Sicilian artist is minimal. Picasso portrayed mostly people, some abstract (Cubist, again mostly people) and he did not paint ceramics until the late 40’s, so I would say his pottery did not influence Giovanni, for it was made mostly in France and shipped around. Picasso’s ceramic works were displayed at the school Giovanni attended (1960) but after he departed. Giovanni used brighter colors more often than not and portrayed everyday Italian life in his ceramics, Picasso did little of this in his drawings or ceramics, other than a few dozen paintings and ceramics, Picasso stuck with more earthy colors.

You could add this link to your informational links;
http://giovannidesimone.blogspot.it/

V/r Vincent
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby wdel » April 1st, 2012, 3:16 pm

Thank you very much for that very important piece of information. It is almost impossible to correct histories but eventually, with assistance from people such as yourself, the truth will eventually come to light and those old books will become obsolete and replaced with the truth. Again, thank you for the information and the link.
Walter
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby misterhyde » April 2nd, 2012, 10:33 am

"they should be executed", wow, spoken by a true Siciliano. Ti bacio la mano, Vincentdesimone!!
I also thank you for the information you provided, I had no idea he studied at the Instituto d'Arte Ballardini. May I ask you if he ever participated in the prestigious Concorso Internazionale della Ceramica in Faenza, and if so, what year/years.
Without wanting to be shot, IMHO, there is huge Picasso influence and "Grazie Dio" there is. Great colours, great designs, great pottery.

@joeyBK, welcome to the club. Now that you have the bug you are going to discover some wonderful pieces of art. Enjoy and learn
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby VincentDeSimone » April 4th, 2012, 9:44 pm

For full disclosure, I am very, very distant relation to the Sicilian de Simone Family’s, but I am in communication with Susanna for advise, Giovanni’s daughter, who still makes this pottery today. Genealogical records run dry in Italy eventually, but I’ve been at that for 10 years.

My initial goal was to purchase some pottery for myself and to give to my family members, and now is to dispute and correct what I saw happening on e-Bay, whereas sellers were copying “DESIMONE Pottery” descriptions right and wrong, continuing the propagation of the misinformation. As I contact these folks, I get mixed responses from “thank you” to “You’re harassing me”. One of these sellers sent me to this site, as where they obtained their information, and others have sent me to other sites.

There is a bit of correct information on the web mostly in Italian that Giovanni’s family published over the years. So I’m translating and asking the family questions and hope to visit Sicily again in the future. I intend to post this information plus my personal opinions on a blog site in English after the family reviews it.

Walter; I did look for an e-mail address for you, because I did not necessarily want to post my comment to you in public.

Misterhide; Buongiorno, Tu sei molto divertente. Non c'è da preoccuparsi. Well I think Picasso influanced many artist worldwide, but I think the Italians did a better job in ceramics. I don’t think Picasso influenced Giovanni any more than some other artist (personal opinion). Giovanni led the way in colors in ceramics and improved some of the process when he was in ceramic school. The red color he used was a development during his training in Faenza. The family states that Giovanni did like the works of Renato Guttuso, and I would say Guttuso, a Sicilian as well, born 20 years earlier just outside of Palermo, had some influence over Giovanni's style, for Guttuso only drew a few Italian countryside scenes, but nothing like the close up images of Giovanni. I say that is where Giovanni and the de Simone designs in general are unique. Another older Palermo artist Pippo Rizzo could have influenced Giovanni, but I have no family confirmation of this. Rizzo produced some countryside depictions as well.

I will put the school dates on my TTD list. Ciao, V/r, Vincent
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby wdel » April 4th, 2012, 10:34 pm

Vincent
I want to thank you for contacting the forum and advising us of the corrections that need to be made. I ,for one, will certainly strive to correct the myth. Many years ago I had read that DeSimone had met Picasso during a visit to the Madoura Pottery in Vallauris, France, and that a strong friendship had been struck between the two artists. Obviously that information needs to be amended. The purpose of this forum is to educate and enlighten. Comments and opinions are always welcome and encouraged here. It has been my experience that history is not stagnate but is an ever evolving process and the stories of past events should always be questioned and scrutinized. Again, thank you.
Walter Del Pellegrino
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby VincentDeSimone » April 4th, 2012, 11:36 pm

Unfortunately Susanna reports that it is not necessarily true that the “DESIMONE” visible within the ceramic painting means that her father painted that piece, if this was on the sketch, the 100 or so artisans also painted it on the ceramic. Giovanni did sign his work, but this is a small percentage of what was produced from the factories. Also I believe her sister Margherita used this signature within the painting of ceramics her shop produced before it closed. In addition there is a company that goes by the name “Ceramiche De Simone” since the 1960s, producing pottery with the “DESIMONE” visible within the ceramic painting. Most of these artists are former students of Giovanni’s school in Palermo, “the Art School "MICHELANGELO”, Giovanni’s former student "Aldo" recalls.

V/r Vincent
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby pothead » April 5th, 2012, 10:16 am

Vincent - do you know if Giovanni ever studied at or visited the ceramics school in Castelli? A good friend of mine, who as a boy in the 1940's lived in Castelli and was the nephew of Molina Mattucci who became the director of the school, said all the great potters and scholars from Faenza used to come down to the school and all they would do is talk, talk, talk about ceramiche, ceramiche, ceramiche. Of course, as a boy, he had no interest - I wish he had! I was wondering if Giovanni ever joined in, as Palermo is closer to Castelli than Faenza.
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby veblenesque » May 18th, 2012, 8:07 am

Thought I'd add this - cover from "La Ceramica" from February 1960 that features studio work by Giovanni De Simone. I own the piece on the bottom left, which is roughly 100 cm square and weighs about 50 pounds (23kg). I collect his plaques from this era.

Image
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby wdel » May 18th, 2012, 10:31 am

Veblenesque,
Thank you for supplying the photo of the Ceramica cover. Those DeSimone tiles are stunning but to able to actually hold in your hands and study its details must be thrilling. I haven't seen many Ceramica publications come up for sale. These magazines are often priced more steeply than the objects they display in their pages. You are indeed a fortunate collector. Being human as well as a fellow collector I must readily admit to experiencing just a tinge of the sin of envy when I read your post.

Walter
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby veblenesque » May 18th, 2012, 1:45 pm

Walter,

I need to become more active in this community - I am a longtime collector who focuses on midcentury Italian modernist ceramics. Artists I collect actively are Ugo Lucerni, Fantoni, Giovanni Petucco, De Simone and Romano Rui. I'm guessing that I have one of the largest collections of Fantoni, Lucerni and Petucco.
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby friendofvincent33 » July 20th, 2014, 12:07 am

Thank you all for your input in this forum. I am a very new collector and have recently purchased three plates. I was hoping that someone could tell me when these might have been made. I just love them. ImageImage

Again, thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

Lisa
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby wdel » July 20th, 2014, 7:17 am

The question is more complicated than one might assume. Four different companies have existed with associations to Giovanni DeSimone.
The original pottery was opened in the early 1950's by Giovanni. He passed away in 1991 and the factory was closed in 2008. In 1997 one daughter, Margherita, attempted to open her own shop, "Ceramiche Margherita De Simone" and in 2008 Susanna created "Fabbrica della Ceramica.". I think both are no longer in operation, although I may be wrong. In 2009 the Giovanni factory and trademark was purchased by a consortium of former DeSimone employees. It is still active today. All four studios used the "DeSimone" signature in block letters. This is most likely a more current set. To find out more contact Ceramiche De Simone. The link below will take you their contact information.
Walter Del Pellegrino

http://www.ceramichedesimone.com/
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby friendofvincent33 » July 20th, 2014, 8:43 am

Hi Walter, I figured they were newer because of the label that talks about not being safe for food use. I looked on site the link took me to and didn't see my pieces. I am hoping they are at least as old as when Margherita and Susanna were operational. I sent an email in Italian (thanks to google translate!) hoping to learn the date of these beautiful plates. I was checking out the prices of the new stuff. It is beautiful and the similar plates seem to cost $90 - $137 per plate. I hope she can help. If I find out, I will post it here so others can see how old these examples are. This is extremely fun. Again, I appreciate all you do with this forum.
Sincerely,
Lisa
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Re: De Simone Bowl

Postby friendofvincent33 » July 20th, 2014, 8:56 am

One more thing... I forgot to mention that I paid $4 per plate. I have to be this thrifty because I do not know what I'm doing. As you saw before on my $5 mistake on the "dragon ewer". In the future, I will listen less to the person trying to sell the item and pay more attention to the quality of the piece. I visit as many high end estate sales as possible in hopes that I will see the "real deal" so I can spot a piece in the future. I don't know another way to do it where you can actually touch a piece of art. Museums are good but you generally can't touch them... How did you learn so much?
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