The dancing ceramic of Cia Manna

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.

Cia Manna Ballerina indiana, Indian Dancer, 1930 ca

"Indian Dancer", c. 1930

Cia Manna Danzatori indiani, 1930 ca - Indian Dancers, c. 1930

"Indian Dancers", c. 1930

Cia Manna Danzatore indiano, 1930 ca - Indian dancer

"Indian Dancer", c. 1930

Cia Manna Danzatrice del Siam 1930 ca - Siamese dancer

"Siamese Dancer", c. 1930

Cia Manna, Fior del Siam e Cavaliere del Siam, anni Quaranta del Novecento - Siamese Flower and Knight, 1940s

"Siamese Flower and Knight", 1940s

Cia Manna, Fior del Siam e Cavaliere del Siam, anni Quaranta del Novecento - Siamese Flower and Knight, 1940s

"Siamese Flower and Knight", 1940s

Cia Manna, Fior del Siam e Cavaliere del Siam, anni Quaranta del Novecento - Siamese Flower and Knight, 1940s

"Siamese Flower and Knight", 1940s

Cia Manna, "Tamoa", anni Quaranta-Cinquanta del Novecento - 1940s-1950s

"Tamoa", 1940s-1950s

Cia Manna, "La Spagnola", anni Quaranta del Novecento - "The Spanish Dancer", 1940s

"The Spanish Dancer", 1940s

Cia Manna, "La Spagnola", anni Quaranta del Novecento - "The Spanish Dancer", 1940s

"The Spanish Dancer", 1940s

Cia Manna Danzatrice italiana anni Quaranta del Novecento - Italian dancer 1940s

"The Italian Dancer", 1940s

Cia Manna, "Danzatrice italiana", anni Quaranta del Novecento - Italian Dancer", 1940s

"The Italian Dancer", 1940s, detail

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