Private Stash: Rose Cabat Pottery

One of the things I love most about collecting vintage things is learning about the companies, designers and circumstances that produced them in the first place. It’s always fun to research something you’ve just bought to see if you can learn more about it, but it’s even more fun to learn that something you’ve had and loved for years is attached to a known artist. It makes it all the more special. This weekend while I was scrolling through blogs and collector sites, I stumbled across some really striking pieces of art pottery produced by ceramicist Rose Cabat.

Image from 1stdibs

Image from 1stdibs

The artist, who has continued to produce these pots since the early 1960s, calls them Feelies. She coined the name after she finally hit on forms she felt could showcase the lovely, tactile glazes she and her husband had developed. She intentionally created necks too slender for a single flower stem because she wanted the pots to be things of beauty in their own right rather than vessels to display other beautiful things.

I immediately fell in love with the colors, shapes and those impossibly slender necks. But it is possible that I fell for these so fast because I already had some very similar ones. Perhaps I already owned a Rose Cabat original or two? Off to the hutch to see!

IMG_4693Ok, there are definitely some contenders in there. But are any of them really Feelies?

IMG_4661I decided to start with the least likely pot, the little one up front. Its neck is tiny, but a little too big compared to most Feelies I could find online.

IMG_4671Wah-wah. Not a Cabat. It’s something,  but I can’t even begin to read the artist’s signature. How about the tall, multi-color one in the back? Its fluted neck also makes me think perhaps it’s not a Cabat.

IMG_4688Wah-wah. It’s no Cabat, and again I really can’t tell what it is. The pot was stamped in the side with a die, but I can’t really make it out. So how about that yellow pot? It is the first of this shape that I bought and it’s truly my favorite of the lot. Come on Rosie…

IMG_4674Wah-wah. The precision with which this little guy was thrown should have tipped me off. Feelies are more irregular in shape and glazing. The mark on this one was also made with a die and it’s pretty cool, but alas I cannot decipher it either. That only leaves one little pot…

IMG_4683Ding-ding-ding! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Feelie! The numbers around it are unintelligible, but her signature is the important part.

IMG_4679Not that it being authentic probably affects its value all that much. Artful human hands made every single piece of studio pottery out there, it’s just nice to be able to learn a little bit more about at least one pair of those hands. Rose Cabat is the oldest known ceramicist still practicing. She’ll turn 100 in June.

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