top of page
A literal expression of manual labor in the work of Willy Finch
A selection of objects from the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels

Alfred William FINCH

( 1854 - 1930 )


Ashtray, ca. 1895

- Virginal -

Height:    5,5  cm

Width:   11,5  cm 

Ø Neck:   10   cm

Signed under the base:  'AWF' 

While at first sight seemingly perfect in form and shape, looks can be deceiving. The artist's own hand is revealed by his literal fingerprint. After having modelled the object to its desired shape, a thumb print was left while changing tables or moving the object to its drying rack. This small, sculpture-like object gets a lot of its monumentality from the beautiful green and brown flambé glaze. Made from white clay, it is graced by an engobe decoration of interlocking comma's. Functioning almost as a symbol for the artist, this simple yet effective and elegant decoration seems to have been one of Finch's favourite designs for many years. Another version of this object is held in the collections of the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, and stems from the important donation of the collector Fritz Toussaint in 1912. 

bottom of page