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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 )
Though this locality had a great influence over the production of faience in France, the initials and monograms placed upon it are, for the most part, as inexplicable as those of Rouen. For some years Nevers produced imitations of Urbino decoration upon its ware, till 1602, when the brothers Conrade, who came from the small town of Albissola, between Genoa and Savona, settled there, and established a factory, in 1608, at the Rue St. Genest.
The developments during the seventeenth century were considerable, for in 1632 B. Bourcier, enameller, commenced business, whilst twenty years later Mambret opened the works, L'Ecce Homo, and P. Custode and his partner started operations at the sign L'Autruche. The successors of the Conrades and the other firms met with further competition in the eighteenth century, for in 1716 Gounot appears in the list, in 1725 P. de Chazelles, and in 1743 there were at Nevers eleven firms making enamelled faience. In May of that year a decree was promulgated deciding that no more should be established, and fixing eight as the number for the future. Presently the whole of the names from the early archives will be given; now follows an account of the wares produced, which come under three classes which mark three periods.
In the first, to which reference has been made, the Italian influence attaches itself to all those pieces which in form and decoration recall the traditions of the school of Urbino of the sixteenth century. The second, as at Rouen, is easily distinguished by the designs, sometimes mythological, some times social and familiar, both surrounded by garlands of large flowers, in which decoration blue and manganese violet are dominant. Owing to the high temperature at which the Nevers ware was fired, the enamels were very limited in number, which obtains everywhere when the decoration is exposed au grand f eu. Hence the beautiful rouge de f er, the iron-red which distinguishes the Rouen faience, does not appear here, its place being filled by a rich orange-yellow.
The third type, the Oriental, is curious, striking, and also easily recognised. The blue of Rouen was an attempt to reproduce the Chinese blue of the Kang-he period, but the blue of Nevers was an enamel blue, known under the name of bleu de Perse. The origin of the peculiar violet-blue enamel is unknown. Perhaps it was an attempt to copy the Chinese mazarine blue. In any case, the Persian style of decoration was favoured at Nevers ; flower ornament with twisted and pointed leaves, and with birds and insects, is more prevalent than the ornamental combinations-lambreqztiins et dentelles so popular at Rouen. Upon the blue ground of the Nevers faience the designs are applied in pure white, or in white associated with a soft, or an orange, yellow. The Persians apparently enamelled some of their pottery in blue, and decorated it with white. Yet it must be stated that the tulips and other flowers of this French faience bear a closer resemblance to the bouquets of contemporary enamellers than to the productions of the Oriental artists.
The decadence of Nevers was marked by the production of inferior ware, in which art played a secondary role. Ordinary articles for common use were manufactured in large quantities in the eleven factories which at the time of the French Revolution were in active operation, though much of this inferior quality may be attributed to the town of La Charite-sur-Loire, which can be regarded as a dependency of Nevers at the poorest period of its production, in which the Rouen decoration was imitated, whilst all the early styles degenerated.
From 1608 to 1761 the following names appear in the list as successors of those who have been mentioned: Garilland, N. Hudes, and his widow Chainproud followed the Conrades ; Moreau and Champesle came after Bourcier ; Chevalier and Lestang after Mambret ; Enfert after Custode and his partner Godin ; Bonnaire after Chazelles ; and them come the factories established after 1743. As these do not appear amongst the scarce signatures and the marks which are exceptionally rare, we will consider a few of those which have been identified by Jacquemart and others.
The most ancient dated specimen was " J. Boulard d Nevers, 1622," which is reproduced at the head of the Nevers marks. This name was found on the back of a figure of the Virgin, and has a special interest because it was produced in the atelier of the Conrades. Another employe at the same place was Denis Lefebvre, whose initials DLF in a monogram, with the date 1636, are also given. H'B 1689 are the initials and date of statuettes by Henri Borne, whilst another statuette of St. Stephen with E. Borne 1689 indicates a work by a member of the same family.
The fabrique at La Charite-sur-Loire from about 1788 produced ware in the style of Nevers, and, in addition, a large number of plates decorated with subjects relating to the Revolution, painted in colours on a white ground.