Large Pope Table Sculpture by Austin Productions 1963

I Like Mike's Mid Century Modern

In 1963, when this impressive and unique ceramic table sculpture was produced, there was a lot of Pope news. There were two that year, a rare situation, since popes are appointed for life. In 1962, Pope John XXIII surprised the Catholic world by convening the Second Vatican Council, the first having been over 100 years prior, and considered likely the last one ever. Upon his death in 1963, Pope Paul VI continued and improved upon the Council, the result of which would dramatically transform and modernize the Catholic Church when it was finished in 1965. People still talk about the somewhat controversial “Vatican 2” like it was a very big deal. With over a billion Catholics worldwide, it was.

Who knows how the idea came up at Austin Productions? As the most prolific maker of high-quality table sculptures, from original pieces to reproductions of well-known works, the young company already had a reputation for quality. This sculpture is no exception, being quite heavy (over 13 pounds!) and solid, with remarkable detailing. The fabric seems to drape, the profile is articulate. It is more “every pope” than any particular pope, which makes it feel more timeless. The condition is very good, with minimal signs of age.

18" H x 10.5" W x 9" D

13 pounds, 9 ounces

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