top of page

This Kähler Pottery vase was painted by Signe Steffensen, called 'Stefan', who worked for Kähler's ceramic workshop from 1907 to 1934. This vessel stands 7.25" high by 5" in diameter on the body, 4" at the rim opening and 2.5" at the pedestal base. It has a shapely form and an awesome lustre glaze. The glaze is called 'Kähler Red', and was a major feat for Kähler in the 1880s. This glaze has rich color quality and exhibits an iridescence that doesn't quit. Online sources reveal that Signe (known as 'Stefan') Steffensen's, early style was characterized by the forms and motifs of the Beaux-Arts period, which were prevalent around the year 1900. Beaux-Arts was the Danish parallel to Art Nouveau and Art Nouveau, and the practitioners of the style cultivated, among other things, plant and flower motifs, as was also seen with Signe Steffensen. Her objects were decorated with organically looped plant ornaments, such as this example with organic hand-drawn glazes in a vine-like motif. This vessel is marked on the base with the Kähler cipher, as well as 'Danmark'. It also has two red marks that are partially obscured by excess glaze, but they appear to be Stefan's signature mark 'SS' in red slip. This lovely vase is in excellent condition, with a simple tiny glaze surface nick at the rim, and a couple of glaze nicks on the body, both by a glaze dot decoration. Structurally, this vessel is in original condition, just these minor glaze nicks/abrasions, and a couple of minor surface scratches, which do not detract from this beautiful vase in the least. The 1920s saw tremendous success for Kähler Pottery and Stefan, in particular, so we imagine this vase is just over one-hundred years old. The pottery produced this lustre glaze successfully for many years, yet these vessels appear pretty scarce. Kähler worked with some great designers and painters and their output was phenomenal.

When Herman HC Kähler took over the company in 1917 as the third generation in Kähler's management, he set about reintroducing the horn painting. The horn painting goes back a long way in the history of pottery and had also been used at Kähler in the workshop's early years in the 1800s. Now the very demanding painting technique was taken up again. The painter had to have a sure hand and great experience when the slurry colored clay, the begetting, was painted on the unfinished objects. A goose feather was placed at the tip of the hollow cow horn. The cow horn was filled with begetting and the amount adjusted using the pressure from the fingers.

Signe Steffensen became one of the painting studio's most virtuoso employees within this technique, and her decorations often possessed great expressiveness and almost wildness in the lines. Stephanffensen participated in several Kähler exhibitions with her own objects. Among other things, she received an employee diploma at an exhibition in Landskrona, Sweden, around 1911, and her candlesticks in the form of boy and girl figures were included in the Baltic exhibition in Malmö in 1914.

More history...Kähler Pottery was founded by Herman August Kähler in 1875. As a result of his collaboration with the artist Vilhelm Klein, Kähler became interested in obtaining the red lustre glaze known as maiolica which had been produced in Gubbio, Italy, in the 16th century. In 1888 he succeeded, developing the now famous ruby glaze known as 'Kähler Red'. The designer Karl Hansen Reistrup (1863–1929) soon joined the enterprise, assisting in the production of finely formed, artistically decorated items, especially vases. Thanks to Reistrup's designs, Kähler's ceramics achieved considerable success both at the Great Nordic Exhibition held in Copenhagen in 1888 and at the Exposition Universelle held the following year in Paris. A number of other artists began to design items for the Kähler factory, including Thorvald Bindesbøll, H. A. Brendekilde, L.A. Ring and Svend Hammershøi. Their contributions further enhanced the firm's international success. Kähler died in Næstved in 1917. His son Herman Hans Christian Kähler (1876-1940) who had taken over management of the factory in 1901 continued to run the enterprise. Shipping outside the US will be based upon your location. If questions, please ask.

Kahler HAK Denmark 'Red' Ruby Lustre Glaze Vase by Signe Steffensen c1920

    bottom of page