Gunther Mele Ltd.

Gunther Mele Ltd., best known as packaging experts specializing in jewelry packaging and storage solutions, bags and gift packaging, offered ceramic and pottery items during the 1970s and into the 1980s. The most successful items were the “Beaver Beaus”, which were collectible ceramic figurines depicting Canadiana.

History:

Gunther Mele was established in 1857 by two German immigrant brothers and was originally named the E&A Gunther Company. In 1962, a great-grandson of the founders was killed in an automobile accident after leaving a trade show. His widow sold the company to Mele Manufacturing Company of Utica, New York. In 1987, Douglas M. King, who is the current owner and CEO, purchased Gunther Mele from Mele Manufacturing. — Wikipedia Gunther Mele

Ceramic Products (1970-1990)

Beaver Beaus – “Novelty items consisting of beaver characters made of wood carvings and/or covered with seal skin and/or moulded ceramics.” Reg’d: 1975, Inactivated: April 1990.

  • Hockey beaver figurine of the Beaver Beaus series – part of the beaver beaus collection, measures a touch under 5 inches tall   [this is the only online reference I’ve been able to find of a Beaver Beaus figurine]

Claire Milward –  Claire Milward designed vases for Gunther Mele. These vases, marked with the Gunther Mele base mark, were outsourced for production [1]. Here is an example of a rare vase designed by Claire Milward.

Gunther Mele vase by Claire Milward

Gunther Mele vase by Claire Milward-mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

Size: 5-1/4″ tall, 4-1/2″ diam at the top, with a pinched waist
Material: red clay (Terracotta?)
Glaze: Non-glazed interior, raised sponge glaze in off-white
Design: raised floral pattern
Age: late 1960s or early 1970s [estimate]

[1] Information provided by K.C., Customer Experience Manager with Gunther Mele Limited, Brantford, ON. on Nov 09, 2015. Gunther Mele