Extremely rare, possibly unique, this exceptional hand-built vase is in Salto’s so-called sprouting style. The form seems to embody nature itself, conjuring images of dangling branches, tangled roots, contorted tentacles. Like a Möbius strip, various strands turn back upon themselves, creating an impression of self-containment that stabilizes the seeming organic chaos. A vivid glossy celadon glaze covers the entire vase, reinforcing Salto’s abstract evocation of the natural world. This example is a prototype, de-accessioned from the Royal Copenhagen Factory and Museum archive, having survived its life as a showroom model.
-Description by Claire Cass
About Axel Salto
At a time when potters around him looked to the understated and refined traditions of Japan and China, ceramic artist Axel Salto produced earthy, sensual works inspired by nature. The Danish designer was an independent voice that favored sculptural over functional forms—which he classified by shape into three categories: “budding,” “sprouting,” and “fluted.” He was especially drawn toward three-dimensional motifs from the plant world—including symbols of fertility like seedpods and budding flowers or fruit—which he richly colored with glazes. From 1930 he worked at Royal Copenhagen, and also as a graphic designer for books, jewelry, and textiles. He was the recipient of many awards including the Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale 1951.