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Collecting Old Continental Pottery
Henri Deux Ware, Etc.
Paris And Its Environs
Glazed Pottery Of France
Stoneware Of Germany
German And Other Guilds
SWEDEN, DENMARK, SWITZERLAND:
Stockholm, Rorstrand, and Marieberg
Delft: The Old Signs Of The Potters
Majolica And Luca Della Robia
Naples, Rimini, Monte Feltro, And Forli
Siena, Monte Lupo, And Pisa
Fabriano, Viterbo, Rome
Venice, Treviso, Bassano, Milan, Etc.
PERSIA AND DAMASCUS:
Persia And Damascus
Persian And Other Tiles
Rhodes, Asiatic Turkey, Etc.
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Niderviller has furnished documentary evidence that in 1759 a large staff was employed at the pottery, and the names of all the employes are given, with the wages each man received. Francois Anstette was the comptroller, probably a member of the same family who worked at Haguenau. Eleven painters and two sculptors were engaged, which shows that the factory founded by Jean Louis de Beyerle, towards 1754, had made great progress. But his name, though it appears in a monogram on some pieces as B coupled with N, is less distinguished than that of Count de Custine, who, in 1780 or 1781, bought the estate and patronised the pottery, to which he appointed Lanfrey as director until 1793, who brought the work to a high state of efficiency. Not only so, but porcelain was also successfully made, and the faience was decorated in the same style as the porcelain, with bouquets and landscapes in .camaieu and in colours, with foliage in relief, heightened with colours and with that peculiar, conventional, scrollwork imitation of rockwork, shells, foliage, etc., in vogue in Louis XV.'s time, known as genre rocaille.
Another curious style of painting was employed, in which the body of the ware was veined to imitate wood, on which apparently a piece of paper was pinned, decorated with a landscape, painted in camaieu rose. In order the more easily to deceive the eye, one or more corners of the paper was folded and occasionally the name of the painter was inscribed on the border, When the blue cornflower decoration became popular, the artists of Niderviller excelled in its production. Count Custine's personal monogram was formed of two C's, one reversed. This became the mark of the f abrique, being some times surmounted with a five-pointed crown. Rarely is there a painter's initial upon his work, and we can only surmise that certain groups and peasant figures were designed and executed by the sculptor named Charles Mire in the list of 1759, but known also as Charles Sauvage, nicknamed Lemire.
Two titles which were bestowed upon this f abrique indicate something of the esteem with which its wares were regarded. In 1737, when Stanislas Leczinski, King of Poland, took refuge in France-he died in 1766-the pottery was known as the manufacture du roi de Pologne. In 1758, by letters patent, it received a higher distinction as manufacture yoyale. Founded about 1725 by Jacques Chambrette, it passed into the hands of his son Gabriel, whose successor was his brother-in-law, Charles Loyal, to whom the patent of 1758 was granted. It appears that in 1788 Loyal was still at Luneville and Chambrette & Co. were at Moyen. Moreover, under the royal title, Charles Bayard, the former director, not the proprietor, of the Luneville works in faience and white earthenware, was authorised in 1773 to take over the Bellevue pottery.
Some trouble arose, difficult of explanation in the absence of trustworthy records. But there is no doubt about the Luneville figures in colours and in biscuit. Some are marked Luneville, and two statuettes in the Gasnault collection, in biscuit, " A LITTLE CHIMNEY SWEEP," arid " A LITTLE SAVOYARD," are stamped in the paste Cyffle d Luneville, below a C inscribed with a point. Specimens such as large plates, painted with a bouquet composed of a carnation and other flowers in colours, upon a white ground, are assigned to Luneville. Jacquemart acknowledges there is some confusion, but his explanation declares that this is not surprising when one remembers that the ceramists were always travelling about from place to place, and that the productions of the potteries of Lorraine were very much alike. In the absence of factory marks upon the ware, the best guide for identifying Luneville faience is found in the fineness of the paintings and the richness of the gilding. So, at least, says Gournay.
This town, near Toul, had a fabrique founded in 1758 by Lefrancois, who transferred it to Charles Bayard, mentioned above, and Francois Boyer, in 1771, two years before they received the royal authority, which gave them the right to use the title manufacture yoyale de Bellevue. Again we must assume that conspicuous merit led to this high distinction, so often refused. The proprietors enlisted the services of some able artists, amongst whom was P. L. Cyffle, who modelled alike for Luneville, Toul, and Bellevue. Bayard left Bellevue for another factory in Toul, close by, in 1788, leaving Boyer sole proprietor, a position which he held till 1806, when Georges Aubry succeeded him, to be followed in modern times by his grandson. Many fine groups and figures were made at Bellevue by Cyffle, which bear his name. But several others, though ascribed to him, are unsigned. Such, for example, are the well-known groups: " The cobbler whistling to his starling, which is in a cage over his head," " A shepherd and shepherdess," and " The son of Paul Rubens." The other productions were similar to those made at Toul, where Cyffle also worked; and as an announcement published by Gournay in his " General Almanac of Commerce " gives full particulars of them, we will dwell no longer upon the productions of Bellevue.
Gournay prints the following advertisement regarding the faience of Toul: " The works which are issued from this factory consist of everything which it is possible to make in fine and common faience, in white faience in imitation of Japan, in enamelled earthenware and white porcelain, as much in plain ware, in gilded white ware, as in fine painted ware; also in imitation of the porcelains of France. Antique and modern vases are also made in white, richly gilt and painted in colour; fine blue camaieux, also richly gilt ; different works in beautiful biscuit, such as groups, figures, busts, vases, medallions of illustrious men, etc., after designs by the greatest masters. The solidity, the whiteness, the beauty of the enamel, the fineness and the variety of the colours, distinguish the works of this factory. . . . All possible orders are executed, coats-of-arms and monograms are painted impartially on all sorts of pieces.
"Proprietors: MM. Bayard et fils."
Another advertisement was published in the Chronicle o f the Arts of January 1865, relating to Bellevue, which will serve for comparison: "Tariff of the prices of different pieces and figures in biscuit, of white earthenware or enamelled on biscuit and painted, and all other bijoutry of this kind, both useful and pleasing. All at the fairest price for the merchant. Which articles are made at the factory formerly licensed by the King, of Messrs. Bayard, father and son, at Bellevue, suburb of Toul."
From these notices we gather additional reasons for the opinion, before expressed, that the factories of Lorraine present a connection and resemblance in their wares, which were the result of similar conditions. For this reason it will be evidently unnecessary to repeat particulars regarding the fine, light body, the variety of the colours, and the beauty of the enamel and of the gilding, the elegance of design and refinement of form in the wares made at neighbouring towns, such as Vaucouleurs, where the manufacture appears to have been in operation from 1738 ; Nancy, where Nicholas Lelong was authorised to make faience in 1774 ; Montenoy, two leagues from Nancy; and St. Clement, where the proprietor, in 1791, joined the other French potters in their complaint against the treaty with England, and which was quitted by the director, S. Aubry, in 1835, when he went to Bellevue.
Much of the faience possessing the qualities to which allusion has been made, in the absence of marks allocating it to one of the places mentioned, is classified under the general name of Lorraine faience. The Dukes of Lorraine encouraged the manufacture; so did Stanislas, King of Poland, as we have seen. The result was the establishment of many fabriques, whose existence ceased when their owners had exhausted their financial resources. Before they disappeared they had contributed something, however small, to the fame of the faience of Lorraine.