CM: The terracotta anthropomorphic vessel known as Grandpa in his Armchair was created by Konstantinos Podotas and represents a seated aged male figure. It is likely this figure is a known person in the period it was made, in which case the chair is elevated to the status of a throne. For the identity of the figure there are two equivalent possibilities. On the one hand it may portray Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905) from Sifnos Island, who was a significant lay theologian, preacher, pedagogue, ethicist and philosopher. On the other hand it may portray Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936), the greatest Greek politician, who was an ingenius realist and visualizer. No matter the identity, the work may date from approximately 1910, which in the first case is the period after the death of Makrakis, when propaganda began to perpetuate his memory, and in the other case is the first government of Venizelos, when the 'Koma ton Fileleftheron' (Party of the Liberals) resuscitated the economy of Greece and led the country to victory in the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.
The vessel was created by Konstantinos Podotas, as betrayed by the initials "KP" pressed at the center of the back of the throne, and in his workshop of Platys Gialos on Sifnos Island, as betrayed by the semicircular seal over the monogram yielding "SIFNOS". The vessel consists of two parts, divided horizontally at the seat of the throne. The vessel must have been used by women as a jewelbox. The vessel's anthropomorphic form is influenced by similar ceramics of Çanakkale (Dardanelles), where the lid is occupied by human figures, such as 'Foustanellades' (Evzones). The molten rendering of details reveals the use of a mould, which allowed the production of multiples. On its lower part the vessel is decorated by loose floral motifs and it is glazed as a whole. A finer version of this vessel, painted with great realism, is kept at the Folk Art Museum of Sifnos in Apollonia.
TROULOS, ANTONIS G. Pottery on Sifnos Island 1991 Art and Tradition Editions, Sifnos