Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Who is Saoyger?

Recently an odd vase caught my eye on ebay. It was listed as "Saoyger", and I have to admit that with all of our experience in the vintage and antique art pottery business, neither of us had ever heard of it. Although we often purchase on ebay for resale, this particular piece I wanted to add to the decor to match our new kitchen remodel. But being ever curious, I set about trying to learn the origin of this distinctively modern-looking piece.

Saoyger Vase, 8 inches

It turns out that learning about this artist was going to be more difficult than I first expected, and the seller did not appear to know anything about it. It was listed at $100 or best offer, and I figured I would roll the dice and offer $75. They accepted, and I received it four days later. I was correct that it was perfect for my kitchen, and matched the modern Nambe pieces we had just purchased as if it were designed for them.

Saoyger Signature on 8 inch vase

The signature was quite stylized, and I immediately assumed that this was the work of a studio pottery. The quality was top-notch, high-fired with very thin walls and a smooth soft glaze. This was not the work of a rank amateur. Internet searches turned up very little. The only reference available was an auction in Georgia from 2006 where a very bizarre tea set was sold. Unfortunately It did not include an image of the signature.

Saoyger Tea set, sold in 2006 for $100

Then, in 2007 another variation of the tea set sold on ebay. This one was reported to have originally been purchased from an unnamed art gallery in seattle. Unfortunately, there was no indication of when it might have been purchased.

Saoyger Tea set, Sold in 2007

This sale did include an image of the signature.

Saoyger Signature on Tea Set

Recently on ebay a coffee set came up, and has not yet sold. It is comprised of 4 cups and a plate, and as usual the seller has no information about it's origin.

Saoyger Coffee service

To date we have not been able to determine anything further about the artist. Each piece (or set) appears unique, but currently there is no way of knowing if that is the case.

Saoyger signature on Coffee service

It has been noted that these pieces seem to be reminiscent of the work of Eva Zeisel, and I must agree. They have a distinct modernist feel, quite at home in a mid-century modern style. If anyone can shed any light on the artist or origins of these pieces it would be greatly appreciated.