Porcelain

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1931-40-37
An Inherited Innovation
This plate was designed by Joseph-Theodore Deck, who worked at Sèvres as a designer before eventually becoming director in 1887 until his death in 1891. Prior to becoming director, Deck was part of the Council of Improvement and helped to establish aesthetic and technical directives for the manufactory at the end of the nineteenth century....
Square with greenish-blue ground having white decoration consisting of a kneeling woman wearing conical hat, long robe, watering a plant in classical vase at left, from which a cherub rises.
Watering Cupid
This pâte-sur-pâte glazed porcelain plaque, made by Mintons Ltd. in about 1909, reflects the humor and creativity of its designer, Marc Louis Emanuel Solon (1835-1913). Pâte-sur-pâte is a complex, time-consuming technique, which requires the designer to apply successive thin layers of liquid clay onto a tinted clay body in order to create a design. The...
Ornament print showing 12 designs for a cup
Hot Chocolate, I Love You So
Hot chocolate has been a fashionable drink since the eighteenth century, and the popularization of the beverage also saw the rise of new designs related to its consumption and preparation. This ornament print by the French designer and printmaker Jean-Baptiste Fay shows twelve different designs for chocolate cups. Each cup is decorated with a diverse...
Figure of small long-haired dog, sitting, head slightly turned; glazed in white with brown patches.
A Royal Menagerie … and Then Some
When the Meissen porcelain manufactury began its operations in 1710, its focus was on producing fine dinner services and traditional functional decorative objects, such as vases. Meissen’s reputation and passion for the modeling of elaborate porcelain figures did not arise until two decades or so later, thanks to King Augustus of Saxony who, enthralled by...
Oval tray with raised and everted rim. Decorated with outer border of interlaced triangular geometric motifs in lapis blue against brown background, surrounded by thin gold rims; then a border of tooled gilding with 16 roundels painted in polychrome of exotic birds, alternating with the smaller roundels with butterflies. Around central oval a wide band of trompe-l'oeil coffering. Center painted with arrangement of seashells, coral, and pearls against a faux marble background.
Like Father, Like Son
This oval tray represents the unique collaborative effort between Alexandre Brongniart, the director of Sèvres appointed in 1800, and his father, the designer Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart. The younger Brongniart’s passion for the natural world is reflected by the scientific precision of the biological species represented in finely painted enamel. Small roundels of exotic birds and butterflies...
Bottle-form: globular, with straight slender neck, short foot. Coated from white rim to foot with monochrome oxblood color glaze of pear skin texture.
Elusive Oxblood
The deep red glaze on this porcelain vase is derived from copper, a metal which is notoriously difficult to control under the heat of a kiln. The distinct oxblood color is created when copper is starved of its oxygen during the firing (in a smoky, oxygen reduced kiln) and re-oxidized in the cooling. The resulting...
Tulip laid horizontally, with upper and lower portions of dish composed of full length petals.
Strewing Flowers on the Table
This tulip-form small tureen or covered dish must have appeared a wonderful bit of nature, as if fallen from a bouquet, on a dining table. Porcelain started to take the place of sugar sculptures on the most elegant tables of Europe in the eighteenth century. It came at a time when nature was being observed...
Flat marli. Concentric bands, in gold: plain, advancing wave motif, and scattered stars; enclosing view of the Sèvres porcelain factory in colors.
Sèvres Self Portrait
This plate shows a picturesque view of the Manufacture de Sèvres, the prestigious French porcelain factory first established under Louis XV. The manufactory was more than just a workplace; many employees lived within the building or in nearby housing. The surrounding pastoral countryside had plots of land where workers could garden. The plate’s figure sitting...
Circular molded plate with curved upturned edge; white ground printed with black irregular lines and twelve reserve vignettes with furniture, kitchen tools, plants, etc.
A Heaping Plate of Design
After World War II, design boomed in Europe. Colors were brighter, lines more dynamic and materials more industrial—affordable modernism emerged to feed thriving consumers in the 1950s. The now iconic Homemaker tableware line started as a challenge for young English designer Enid Seeney. She was tasked with creating an “all-over” pattern for fashionable rimless plates....