Zunill the Maiden PlanterZunill the Maiden Planter

Limited Edition - $400.00 + $50.00 S&H (US shipping, ONLY)

This is one of the three pieces I mentioned on the main Rumph page that were broken long ago in a moving mishap. In the photos below, I have highlighted with yellow lines where the breaks were. In most cases, the seams are barely visible and the surface smooth, but in a few locations chips are still present where small flakes of pottery were unable to be retrieved after the breakage (yellow circles in photos below, e.g.). I repaired the piece at the time, and have continued to use it as a special display piece ever since. As I also mentioned on the main page, all of the Rumph pieces for sale here have only been used as display pieces - while this piece could originally have been used as a planter, it never has been, and would not be suited to that purpose in its current repaired state.

In late 1974 I drove to Westwood to A Change of Hobbit bookshop to hopefully purchase one of these planters as a Christmas present for my wife that year. I had seen one there in the past, and had already purchased a couple of Rumph pieces from Sherry, but as it turned out there was no Zunill planter available that day. However, when I asked Sherry about it she told me that Jim's factory was only a few miles away, and said that I should drive over: Jim was often there, and I might have better luck. I consulted the folded paper road map (remember those?) in the glove compartment of my VW Beetle and made my way over. I arrived in an industrial area outside of an unassuming warehouse-looking building. I parked on the street outside and walked up a few steps onto a loading dock and went in through a large sliding door that was open at the time. Inside I found numerous tables and shelves with rows of different pieces in various stages of completion. There was only one person inside that I could see, a young man (like myself) with long dark hair, wearing a dusty apron over jeans and a white t-shirt. He smiled and said "Hi, I'm Jim, welcome to my shop!", then asked how he might help me. When I told him my story, he looked around for a moment and said he was sorry, but he had no Zunill pieces ready for sale. But then, after a short pause, he said "Wait a minute - come with me." We walked to the end of the building and through a door into what turned out to be his office. It had a cluttered desk, more tables and shelves full of various objects including his own creations, posters and paintings on the walls, etc. From one of the shelves he took down a Zunill planter, the one you see on this page, and set it on the desk. He said "This is one that I made for myself, but you're welcome to it." At about this time, the phone rang; he excused himself and answered. I looked around while he talked, and at one point the caller must have asked what he was doing, because he replied "Making new friends." He hung up, I paid him cash for the piece, and thanked him. he wrapped up the planter for the ride home, we shook hands, and he showed me out the way I had come in. The last thing I saw was that smile beaming at me from the open doorway on the dock as I walked back to my car, treasure in hand.

Large woman head planter measures approximately 14.5 inches wide, 12 inches tall, and 7 inches deep, and weighs 10.75 pounds. As the photos indicate, the outside of the piece features a pale cream colored matte glaze outside, with darker rust and brown wash/shadowing. The figure's hair flows back on both sides of the face, and feathered wings highlighted with green paint sprout from her temples. Her brows are also accented with the same green. A gold painted chain with a rayed sun medallion circles her forehead. The figures and scarab on her cheeks, her nose ring, neck rings, and the pupils of her eyes are also painted gold. Three light colored medallions were added to the head after it was molded: two on the right side above the wing, and one on the lower left side of the neck. In addition to the special green paint on this piece, there is an addition not normally featured on other examples of the Zunill planter: a hand formed and shaped clay head of Belial the Demon on the right side of the neck (see photos). The back features a smiling face surround by a halo of dragon heads. The bottom features an all-seeing eye plus the Rumph hand and various runes, along with the notation (see photo): "Rumph © Mind Circus 1974". The planter is signed and dated by Jim Rumph on the back to the lower right: "J RUMPH 74." This is one of the rarer Rumph pieces in any case, and it may in fact be completely unique.

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