Ceramics, Kodachromes, Nov 21, 1947


These 12 Kodachrome slides have subject material that is mostly identical to the 20 press format negatives we covered under the box #31 blogspot.

This also puts a Nov 21, 1947 date on this slide photography. Of course, these slides are color and give us more depth on how the ceramics looked like.

But it doesn’t answer what the project was all about. There are few additional clues though. The box had multiple postal stamps in the Feb 28-29, 1948 range.

Joel apparently sent these slides to “The Camera” at 306 N. Charles Street, Baltimore per registered airmail. He must have tried to submit these slides either for publication or they might have been an entry in a photography contest.

We’re not aware of any publication of any of the submitted material, but here they are, in order as found and scanned.

Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947
Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947
Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947
Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947
Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947
Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947

The above slide gives us a detail we’ve not seen in the higher resolution B&W images. The plates, cups and decorative materials are in a display case of sorts. There’s a black label with white text visible. Unfortunately, the text can not be easily read. What can be discerned is the summation of the contents of the case with a piece price at the end.

This is either part of a store display or an artist’s commercial studio display. The name on the B&W negatives box was Oscar Galgiani, 165 E. Harding Way. It remains a mystery what the origin is of this ceramics display as Oscar Vincent Galgiani was a prolific landscape and portrait oil painter, and there is no known association with ceramics.

Joel’s 35mm camera had a simple lens with insufficient resolving power to render the small print legibly as is. At the end of this blog post I’ll show what’s possible with extensive digital manipulation.

Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947

Joel played a bit with his lighting for the above shot. He’s using very directional light with occasionally distracting shadows. In the above case, he doubled up on lights as there’s a shadow left and right on the plate standing up.

Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947
Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947

It should be clear that any type of publication would require significant editing of the submitted images.

Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947

Another descriptive label with set and pricing information in above image. Unfortunately, nothing is recoverable in this one.

Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947
Ceramics display, Nov 21, 1947

By the time Joel photographed the last pieces, he had a flow and the resulting images render much better.

Keep in mind the color representation shifted over time. These slides are 75 years old, and faded quite a bit.

Below is the label after extensive digital manipulation to remove the distracting color shifts and noisy artifacts.

“A case of pieces in the Blue Mist glaze. The brown markings in the glaze are brown from the dark clay body by the intense heat of the firing (about 2050 degrees Fahrenheit)”

(Reading from right to left)

After-dinner coffee cups ………… On special order

Bowl (incised pattern, Off-white Cobalt) ……..NFS

Pitcher ……………………………………………….. $12.00

Cream & Sugar Set ……………………………….$ 8.50

Large Shallow Bowl …………………………………. NFS

Small Bowl (Incised design) ………………….. $ 7.50

Covered Jar ………………………………………… $16.50

Small Bowl (Incised texture) …………………. $ 7.50

At least, this gives us an idea of 1947 pricing for the above set.

Cheers !


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