Czechoslovakia (before 1945)/ Czech republic (CZ)/ Flower décor/ Bulgaria (BG)/ Hungary (HU)
Czechoslovakia (1890-1920): Some History
A quarter of all the piggy banks in Europe produced before the Great War (WW1:1914-1918) came from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (it included Austria, Bohemia, Hungary and Czechoslovakia). This is also the case with the shown antique HEPP piggy banks. After the Great War that empire disbanded. The pottery industry often established their headquarters in Vienna and the factories in Czechoslovakia. It is possible that some experts attribute a piggy bank of before 1914 to Austria, while I identify it as Czech.
On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The piggy banks shown are from the Czech Republic, all from the period 1980-2001. In those days one could still buy authentic piggy banks almost everywhere. Nowadays all piggy banks have those awful plastic stoppers. Well known are the piggy banks with hats, which I found nowhere else.
Flower décor pig piggy banks (RO/HU)
These piggy banks with flowers are from Eastern Europe. Romania and Hungary (and occasionally Bulgaria) were the suppliers of former department store V&D that sold them early 1970's in large quantities, along with flower pots and dishes. The flower decorations are hand painted. To create some system in the amount of flower decorated piggy banks I made two categories: 'small and medium' up to 16 cm and 'big' from 16 cm. The smallest is 9.5 cm and the largest in my collection is 29 cm. There are some misunderstandings about these kind of piggy banks: They are not antiques (there are possibly exceptions!) , since they are dated ± 1960-70. Not special pottery, but 'ordinary' farmers pottery, folk art. And that's OK!
Bulgaria and Hungary
- Troyan pottery is considered the true Bulgarian pottery. Traditionally the pottery was painted by the village women. They applied yellow, brown and green paint with a bull’s horn and feathers to achieve a peacock or butterfly like design or smeared paint with their fingertips to achieve a raindrop like effect. Today craftsmen combine traditional designs with modern techniques.
- In this section examples of exchange between former communist "utopia's": In the communist countries the marginal production capacity was a big problem. In a way entrepreneurs were creative to buy the missing products or parts from college communist “utopias”. Not aware of this I always thought that some of the here shown piggy banks that were bought in the GDR were also produced there. Until I decided to ask a native speaker in my home town to translate the label on two of these piggy banks. And found out they were originated in Troyan, Bulgaria.
- Hungarian pottery is still more traditional, modest almost. And to my surprise few Hungarian flower décors in my collection.