This beautiful small pottery plate with two spiraling fish is a bit of a mystery. At the center of the back is incised “FREGATTEN” - which means frigate, or ship, in multiple Scandinavian languages as well as German, I believe. I have found some plates, including a few produced by Royal Copenhagen, on which this word appears—and I understand that in Denmark it is generally used to refer to the Fregatten Jylland, one of the world's largest wooden warships. There are also a number of hotels named Fregatten—perhaps this plate was made for one of those? Curious! It is signed as well, with what looks like Liu—which I have not been able to trace. Additionally, the plate is very irregular, with its lip curled on one side, perhaps suggesting it was a test run or sample? Certainly it is mid-century Scandinavian, and it reminds me to a fair extent of the work of Nils Thorsson.
Whatever the story, it’s a beauty, with these inky blue fish with fine black outlines and details, dramatic triangular tail fins, and what I’d assume are hooks hanging from their mouths. The ground is sort of a taupe—a mottled purple-gray, and the back, with ribbed sides, is glazed as well.
5” in diameter x 1” tall and in very good condition, though as noted the curve of the sides is quite irregular—original to the piece.