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Iconic Portuguese ceramics brand Bordallo Pinheiro is now available in South Africa

Bordallo Pinheiro’s playful fruit-and-veggie-inspired pieces have come to a new store in Cape Town – and online

27 November 2019 - 14:43 By Robyn Alexander
The brand's distinctive ceramic swallows – in various sizes – swoop across a wall in Bordallo Pinheiro's Cape Town store.
The brand's distinctive ceramic swallows – in various sizes – swoop across a wall in Bordallo Pinheiro's Cape Town store.
Image: Georgia East

There are two kinds of people in the world: the kind who instantly and instinctively love Bordallo Pinheiro ceramics; and the rest of you, who are obviously just confused.

Renowned the world over for its distinctive plethora of boldly colourful fruit and vegetable inspired designs, Bordallo Pinheiro hails from the town of Caldas da Rainha, 75km north of Lisbon, in Portugal.

Designs inspired by leaves, fruits and vegetables are Bordallo Pinheiro's signature.
Designs inspired by leaves, fruits and vegetables are Bordallo Pinheiro's signature.
Image: Georgia East

The brand was founded way back in 1884 by Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro, a renowned Portuguese journalist, caricaturist and sculptor. He became known for producing nature-inspired pieces that incorporated imagination, creativity, humour and social consciousness.

In 2019, Bordallo Pinheiro is steeped in heritage – its distinctive designs are recognised and collected the world over – as it continues to produce its wide range of ceramics today. Virtually all the pieces are handcrafted and produced with little mechanisation using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations of ceramic artists.

Many of Bordallo Pinheiro's designs are available in plain white as well as brightly coloured versions.
Many of Bordallo Pinheiro's designs are available in plain white as well as brightly coloured versions.
Image: Georgia East

From pineapple platters to artichoke storage jars and bowls fashioned to look like cabbage leaves, there’s a huge range of tableware in the range. South Africans with Portuguese heritage will definitely recognise some of Bordallo Pinheiro’s most famous designs, such as the Leaves range.

Virtually all the pieces are handcrafted and produced with little mechanisation

Every piece combines quirkiness with bright colour (although many items are also available in elegant white versions) and these covetable items are pretty much guaranteed to give life to any table. The brand’s wares can be used in both formal and casual table settings, and range from complete dinner sets to centrepieces as well as decorative figures, including their utterly charming swallows and sardines.

The brand's brightly coloured ceramic sardines are eminently collectable.
The brand's brightly coloured ceramic sardines are eminently collectable.
Image: Georgia East

In recent years, Bordallo Pinheiro has collaborated with renowned national and international artists in the creation of contemporary pieces, and the brand is playing an essential role in the revitalisation of Portuguese ceramics.

The brand was founded way back in 1884 by Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro, a renowned Portuguese journalist, caricaturist and sculptor

With the opening of a beautifully put together store in Bree Street, Cape Town, and via a local online store, a selection of these extraordinary pieces is now available in South Africa for the first time.  They make wonderful gifts too, so if you’re in search of a present for a foodie, you should definitely check out the stores.

Find the Bordado Pinheiro brick-and-mortar store at Touchstone House, 7 Bree Street, Cape Town, 021 180 2678, or shop their range (and purchase gifts cards) via their online store.


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