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Zsolnay "Skull on Bible" Porcelain Object, c. 1900


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Recalling the Dutch vanitas still life works of the 17th century, this arrangement reminds the viewer of life's impermanence and the certainty of death, all while emphasizing the importance of achieving salvation. Zsolnay's proprietary iridescent eosin glaze shimmers with metallic hues of green, gold, and purple at nearly every angle. Designed by Lajos Mack for Zsolnay. Stamped on bottom: 'ML'; Red stamp with '5783', 'Zsolnay/Pécs'; 'Made in Hungary'.

The Zsolnay factory was founded in 1853 in Pécs, Hungary by Miklós Zsolnay, who was joined by his son Vilmos in 1863. Zsolnay would become well-known in the 1880s for its exceptional achievements in architectural ceramics, and world-renowned in the 1890s with its development of a multi-coloured, iridescent metallic lustre glaze called Eosin, named for Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn.

Notable museum collections featuring works by Zsolnay include: Musée d'Orsay, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Detroit Institute of Arts; and more.