Making a Market

It was 30 years ago that my father went to the Medina in Marrakesh and purchased antique pottery. After selling out of the first shipment almost immediately, he began importing hundreds of these pieces at a time for Berbere Imports. In contrast, other importers would maybe ship only twenty. For those of you who have taken an economics course, the next statement won’t be surprising. Berbere began receiving irate calls from other importers claiming we were artificially creating demand for these pots, thus destroying their margin. In the late '80s and early '90s, we were the largest exporter and my dad single-handedly " made a market” in vintage Moroccan pottery! 

Last November, I went back to Morocco to find these same pots; which have become almost impossible to source. Twenty vendors later, I chanced upon a guy who remembered my dad. He took me to a field where he and his family had been collecting these pots for the last 30 years! Now, I'm not suggesting that these are the last of their kind. However, in the three weeks I spent in Marrakesh, not one person had seen them in years. Thanks, Dad! Currently, we have five distinct types that are all over 100 years old. Many of them, much likely older. 

Olive Vessels-Coastal/Desert ($350-$1200)
These were stored either above ground (coastal) or buried in the ground (desert) to preserve olives. They have striking shapes and forms. 

Date Jars ($450-$950)  
Old World usage with a contemporary shape. Some practices are timeless and many of these date jars have only recently been replaced with more modern means. 

Butter Urns ($600+)
Standout pieces. The fat from the butter alters the color and tone, giving it an uncharacteristic warmth that is singularly unique. These pieces have no successors because the practice of churning butter in this fashion is obsolete. 

Water Jars ($1200+)
We only have three and they are at least 200 years old. Semi porous to allow for wind to blow through and cool the water; they are the embodiment of Wabi-Sabi. 

I encourage you to come by and enjoy the market.

Best, 
Zaid