I'm listing this wonderful studio pottery plate just as 2019 comes to an end, which seems exactly right: "bull_" might characterize a lot about our times, but I see this particular bull as a symbol of fortitude and perseverance, charging forward with strength and resilience into the new decade! And what a terrific bull it is, like a watercolor painting rendered in inky shades of mossy green and brown and cream, which pops against the metallic black glazing of the rest of the plate. Feeling iconic, and symbolic, it reminds me a lot of one of my favorite objects ever: an early Arikara Native American hide shield held in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, which features a buffalo emerging from the side of the round shield in a manner so similar to this that I wonder if this plate was directly inspired by it.
The plate is marked (incised) MH on the reverse, which exactly matches the mark of mid-century ceramicist Marc Hansen, who created a diverse body of work prior to his death in 1975. Featured in the fifth edition of Ceramics: A Potter’s Handbook by Glenn C. Nelson, Hansen's work has been shown widely nationally and internationally, including at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the Dayton Art Institute, and the University of Michigan.
The plate measures 8 3/16" across x 7/8" tall. It is in very good vintage condition--- no chips or cracks; there is a bit of unevenness to the metallic black glaze, mostly original to the piece I believe, but perhaps also showing light wear from use. I do not think detracts, but rather just enhances the aura of this terrific plate!