The dancing ceramic of Cia Manna

Cia Manna Ballerina indiana, Indian Dancer, 1930 ca

"Indian Dancer", c. 1930

In the 1920s, Mrs Manna was a decorator for the famous ceramic doll company Lenci, founded by Helenchen König and Enrico Scavino in 1919.

In the early 1930s, she decided to start a business of her own, and founded Ceramica Italiana Artistica (or Cia). Her new, Turin-based company churned out splendid ceramic creations under the trademark “Cia Manna”, merging her brand and last name.

Collectors’ most sought-after pieces are Cia Manna dancing statuettes. It is a pleasure to look at them in their inertia, as if they could start dancing to an imaginary music at any moment.

Perhaps Mrs Manna would agree with ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov, who said, The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.

December 18, 2014