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Collecting Pottery:
Collecting Old Continental Pottery

Henri Deux Ware, Etc.
Palissy Ware
Paris And Its Environs
Glazed Pottery Of France

Stoneware Of Germany
German And Other Guilds

Stockholm, Rorstrand, and Marieberg

Delft: The Old Signs Of The Potters

Majolica And Luca Della Robia
Castel Durante
Naples, Rimini, Monte Feltro, And Forli
Siena, Monte Lupo, And Pisa
Fabriano, Viterbo, Rome
Venice, Treviso, Bassano, Milan, Etc.

Persia And Damascus
Persian And Other Tiles
Rhodes, Asiatic Turkey, Etc.

Hispano-Moresque Ware

Paris And Its Environs

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Ancient and mediaeval pottery was made at Paris-the first, when France was Gallia, and Paris, Lutetia ; the second, from the time of Girolamo della Robbia, who in 1530 carried out the decorations in faience of the Chateau of Madrid in the Bois de Boulogne. Later, in the same century, the Tuileries, tile-works, was the home of Bernard Palissy, and from his atelier came the works which justified his appointment as " the inventor of pots or vases of earthenware (figulines) to the king and the queen-mother." He erected the pot-works at the Tuileries, and his successors followed in his footsteps and repeated his designs, so that they have been mistaken for the works of the master himself.

In 1603, when Henry IV, was King of France, we are told that he established manufactures of faience, both white and painted, at Paris, Nevers, and Brissambourg in Saintonge, where the different ateliers produced faience equal to that which was brought from Italy. Passing over other references, we reach the year 1664, of which Jacquemart says: " It is in 1664 only that we find the first official deed authorising the establishment of a manufactory with the name of a Parisian potter, Claude Reverend, who applied for powers to produce faience, and to imitate porcelain, and, at the same time, to introduce into France the wares already made in Holland." The result was that the Delft ware was so closely imitated as not to be distinguished the one from the other. Reverend's faience has marks, letters, figures, and monograms, just like those which the Dutch potters employed, and his paste and enamel bear a close resemblance to theirs.

Claude Reverend is credited with a special mark, AR joined together, and many pieces bearing this monogram are found in the museums. From 1664 to 1720 no further documentary evidence is available as to the potteries of Paris. He copied Delft; the other potters set themselves to reproduce the faience of Normandy, though some faience resembling his appears to have been produced by a few of them. This was marked now and then, but the bulk of the Paris products is difficult of identification because of the absence of marks. As no useful purpose can be served here by a mere list of the chief manufacturers with the dates, we pass on to 1750, when a potter named Digne, working in the rue de la Roquette, made the pharmacy pots with the coat-of-arms of the Duchess of Orleans which may be seen in the Cluny Museum. The specimen shown in the illustration is in the Rouen style, painted in blue and pale yellow. In the same street was the principal centre of the industry in the nineteenth century, when tiles, earthenware stoves, and decorative wares were produced.

The manufactory at Sceaux used its name, or an anchor, as a mark, sometimes with the letters SP for Sceaux-Penthievre. The Duke of Penthievre, High Admiral of France, was at one time the patron of the works which were founded about the middle of the eighteenth century by Jacques Chapelle.At first his wares-his best works-were unmarked, but by comparison with those which are, a number of fine pieces have been classified as Sceaux. Amongst other faience these may be distinguished by the fineness of the paste and the clearness of the enamel as well as by the elegance of their forms and the charm of their decoration, which rivals that of porcelain. The painting in camaieu rose or polychrome shows that the artists employed by Chapelle possessed great ability in depicting groups of Cupids, mythological and pastoral subjects, bouquets and emblems, as well as garlands and ribbons, all surrounded with arabesques in colours or in gold, with moulded or relief ornament and open-work.

In 1763 the works were let to Jullien and Jacques, but the decadence had begun, and, though Glot became the proprietor nine years later, he seems to have confined his attention to the manufacture of services decorated with bouquets of the blue cornflower in the style known as d la reine, a commonplace decoration, a great contrast with the wonderful faience of Chapelle, who also made soft paste china whose decoration had a delicacy equal to that of Sevres. Probably the artists whose talents conferred such distinction upon the porcelain were also the painters of the dainty pictures upon the faience, which, in its best period, is exceedingly rare and valuable.

In the map of France I have omitted those places which lie close to Paris, such as Sceaux, Bourg-la-Reine, St. Cloud, and Sevres, also Avon and Sinceny in the department Seine-etMarne, with some others, to avoid overcrowding.

St. Cloud

According to " Pradel's Almanac " for 1690, there was a fayancerie at St. Cloud at that time, but what kind of ware was produced is uncertain, until about 1706, when Henri Trou, senior, became the head of the establishment and used as his mark St C over T, which was the same on faience and soft-paste porcelain. Pierre Chicanneau was his predecessor, and to him, about 1695, came the knowledge of making this soft-paste porcelain. When he died, Trou married his widow. Perhaps there were two or more potteries at St. Cloud, for the differences between the faiences ascribed to that town are very marked. One is a coarse, heavy, common ware decorated with blue outlined in black, the other is finely enamelled and decorated, so that it loses itself in the faiences of Rouen in the absence of the means of identification. Gasnault gives G as a mark in blue upon a plate of the coarse kind.


As at St. Cloud, the manufacture of faience suffered because the pottery at Sevres-the royal establishment was occupied in perfecting the porcelain. Mention is made of a M. Lambert, who, during the last fifteen years of the eighteenth century, made a fine faience of remarkable quality, but only a few specimens have been assigned to him, nor can the pottery produced at Vincennes be separated from that at Sevres ; apparently, the monogram of the two L's was the mark used at both places, on pieces of much merit, having a ground of turquoise blue with reserved white panels painted with bouquets of flowers.


This little town is situated in the valley of the Oise, a few miles from Chauny (Aisne). The fabrique of Sinceny was founded by its lord, M. de Fayard, who, in 1737, received legal authorisation to make faience, though for three years the works had been in operation. A curious consensus of opinion states the difficulty of distinguishing the plates and dishes made here from those of Rouen. Fortunately the letter 'S' was adopted as the official mark. Jacquemart contends that it was constantly used, but Sommerard qualifies this by saying the wares were sometimes marked with the 'S', whilst Gasnault, in his catalogue, gives not that mark only but 'I'I', and generally supports Sommerard. The fabrique was still at work in 1780. During its career, when it was in the height of its prosperity, numerous artists were invited by Pierre Pelleve and his successors to come to Sinceny. They came from Rouen, from Lille, Strasburg, and Lorraine. Pelleve, the first director, saw the development of the decoration from the style with the cornucopia filled with flowers, known as d la corne painted in blue, through a modified Chinese decoration in colours, to the fuller palette and detailed work of the Rouen school, not only with d la corne decoration, but with landscapes of much merit, all of which was in perfect accord with the tastes of the period.

When, towards 1775, the Rouen style declined in public favour, Chambon, then the director, introduced painting au petit f eu, by which the heat of the muffle kiln was employed to fix the soft glazes and enamels used in overglaze decoration. Then the polychrome paintings of Chinese subjects reached a level worthy of the King-te-chen artists, though these decorated hard porcelain, whilst at Sinceny the body was faience, very carefully prepared, and covered with enamel not perfectly white but tinged with a faint blue. A few statuettes of Chinese personages were made here, which are in the Gasnault collection in the museum at Limoges, notably an emperor seated on a throne surrounded by six attendants.

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