Antiques and Collecting | Art-deco figurines from early 20th century hail from Italy
Art Business

Antiques and Collecting | Art-deco figurines from early 20th century hail from Italy

Pairs of ceramic dancing figures in exotic costumes were favorites in the art deco period, starting about 1920. Many different pairs — about 19 or 20 inches high — have been selling with the mark “Cia Manna” and sometimes the added words “Turin, Italy.” A search of old books and even new information online has offered little insight. The pairs of dancing figurines depict a woman and a man posing in exaggerated dance poses. Dozens of different pairs were made, most from 1925 to the 1950s. An artist and designer named Mrs. Manna, who worked for the Lenci doll company, decided to form her own company in 1930. She named it Ceramica Italiana Artistica. The dancing figurines were marked “C.I.A. Manna.” Often the mark omitted the periods, so the first word looked like “Cia.” The company was in operation until the 1950s. The art deco look is still popular, and most of the pairs have sold for $800 to $1,500. Q: My great-aunt left a chair for me in her will. I had always admired it as a young girl because it is decorated with shiny pieces of shell and painted gold trim. The chair is black, lightweight, curvy […]

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