Petite coupe sur talon in enamel and 18 karat gold by André Fernand Thesmar (1843–1912). In original box. André Fernand Thesmar (1843-1912) was a French enameler. He is credited with bringing the soft-paste porcelain back into style, alongside sections with gold foil backings, in the 20th century. He also used the method of plique-à-jour, including works that were often inspired by Japanese and Chinese enameling. He showed his work at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.The floral motifs that adorn this petite coupe sur talon by André Thesmar appear to float due to the expert use of plique-à-jour, a type of enamel that has no backing so that light can shine through it like leaded glass. Thesmar''s ability to create such an exceptional piece in gold and enamel shows a combination of artistry and technical genius that is very rare to come by. A similar coupe sur talon is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
A French Art Nouveau porcelain vase by Georges de Feure, featuring a blue and pink floral decoration on a glazed cream-white ground. Made for La Maison Art Nouveau Bing. Similar vase in the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Similar vases pictured in: "Art Nouveau Bing: Paris Style 1900" by Gabriel Weisberg, p. 204, pl. 198.
A French Art Nouveau flamed sandstone stoneware planter by Alexander Bigot for the architect Cintrat, featuring an organic pattern that repeats itself around the base. This Art Nouveau architectural element by the ceramic artist Alexandre Bigot serves as an elegant and versatile planter. With its subtle "grès flammé (flamed sandstone) glaze, it is equally at home in an indoor alcove, planted with serene orchids, or situated on a terrace or garden''s edge, overflowing with white petunias and bright green trailing vines. Free the fancy of your inner gardener and fill it with your own botanical style of visual energy!Alexandre Bigot (1862-1927) had embarked upon a promising career in physics and chemistry, but was captivated by the displays of Chinese porcelains at the 1889 Exposition Universelle, and abandoned his profession to dedicate himself to the art of ceramics. For ten years, he experimented with pottery and glazes. His doctoral degree in chemistry helped him create a variety of matte glazes with novel effects, such as metallic lusters and crystalline surfaces. By 1900, growing in skill and confidence, he had participated in Siegfried Bing''s inaugural exhibition at La Maison de l''Art Nouveau, and had won a grand prize at the turn-of-the-century Exposition Universelle. However, by the late 1890s Bigot was becoming fascinated by a new medium for artistic expression
in ceramics: the ground-breaking architecture and interiors of the Art Nouveau geniuses, among them Hector Guimard and Louis Majorelle. Excitement about this new style of architecture grew, as beautiful and original structures rose to relieve the homogeneity of Parisian Second Empire facades. Bigot re-envisioned and expanded his Paris manufacturing studio in order to contribute to this exciting new wave, helping to realize the architects'' vision in a variety of ways. His versatile ceramics, and his aptitude for collaborating closely with the artists and architects, helped fully realize this sculptural, plastic style of architecture, with its sense of free composition. His work product ranged from façade revetments to high relief floral, foliate and figural decorative motifs, from bespoke tilework designs to ceramic "masonry" with the appearance of carved, weathered stone.Bigot''s innovations were key to the construction of a number of famous and truly revolutionary Art Nouveau apartment houses and villas, prize-winning structures some of which fortunately survive. His first important success was decoration of the façade and breezeway of the celebrated Castel Beranger, whose architect Hector Guimard designed the famous Paris metro entrances. Bigot also collaborated with architect Henri Sauvage on Louis Majorelle''s renowned villa, where his ceramic panels, fireplace and other design flourishes helped generate the structure''s wider influence on architecture and interior design. For the architect Jules Lavirotte, Bigot, in cooperation with a number of artists, produced the artist-designed tiles and sculpture incorporated into the opulent façade of 29 Avenue Rapp, situated near the Tour Eiffel. One of the most acclaimed surviving Art Nouveau buildings in Paris, this was a revolutionary structure which explored new technologies, including sound proofing and ultralight iron-reinforced concrete. Most importantly, its complex façade harmoniously unifies the work of collaborating artists, realized by Bigot. Architectural critics consider the building to be strongly sculptural in itself. Always adapting to the evolving ideas of avant-garde architects, Bigot later created a sophisticated series of bespoke façade elements for 25bis Rue Franklin, a proto-modernist apartment house in the 16th, just across the Seine from the Tour Eiffel. The structure was the first to expose and assert the skeleton framework of the building as the defining architectural design, and Bigot''s work was used to highlight this novel vision. Its façade is covered with his myriad, hand-set ceramic forms, including chestnut leaves, small disks and interlocking fish scales in subtly varied hues and tones, that read from a distance as monumental vertical panels in beige, cream and yellow. The building was greatly admired by Le Courbusier. As the taste for the Art Nouveau faded, and since the artistic projects to which his business was geared did not tend to reward financially, Bigot''s enterprise was forced to close in 1914, but his astonishing work can still be admired throughout Paris and at the Villa Majorelle in Nancy, the birthplace of Art Nouveau.
A French Art Nouveau covered porcelain jar designed by Georges de Feure and manufactured by Dufraisseix & Abbot, Limoges for Art Nouveau Bing. In the manner of de Feure''s renowned textiles, this piece is decorated with elegantly painted abstract floral and vegetal designs. Pictured in "The Paris Salons 1895-1914: Volume IV Ceramics & Glass," by Alastair Duncan, Page 159.
An Austrian Art Nouveau porcelain and silvered clock by Paul Follot edited by fellow ceramicist Alexander Förster. This clock prominently features the arabesquing line of the Art Nouveau movement, both in shape and in the relief decoration. Abstract blue flower buds decorate the clock in panels at the top and behind the clock face. The silvered clock face and pendulum are also decorated in the whiplash motif, which makes this clock a complete and total work of Art Nouveau. A similar clock is pictured in: "Art Nouveau: The French Aesthetic," by Victor Arwas, London: Andreas Papadakis, 2002, p. 333; a similar clock is also pictured in the 1904 Louis Majorelle catalog, in the "Les Algues" Chamber, near the end of the catalog.
A French Art Nouveau "Danseuse A L''Écharpe No. 12" gilt bronze sculpture by Agathon Léonard. Originally created as a smaller group of ceramic figures, possibly based on the dancer Loïe Fuller, the series was completed in hard porcelain by the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres as a fifteen-piece table-top group, "Jeu de L''Echarpe." After acclaim at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900, the French foundry Susse Frères produced bronze casts of these, incorporating discreet lighting on some models.Published/Exhibited: Macklowe and Goldring, "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris," 2011, p. 190; Böstge, "Agathon Léonard: Le geste Art Nouveau," 2003, p. 75.
A Dutch Art Nouveau eggshell vase by Rozenburg. The vase is finely decorated with "bordeaux" colored irises with yellow beards and white daisies with yellow centers. Long sinuous finely-veined leaves curl around and behind the flowers and climb up the vase''s neck.The firm''s petal thin porcelain was developed in 1899 by the then director of the factory Julian Kok. It was nearly identical in quality to chinese porcelain in its eggshell thin quality and weightlessness. What differentiated it from chinese porcelain were its exquisite botanical illustrations and experimental shapes. The vase utilizes complementary colors, pairing purple-reds with golden yellows. The contours of the flowers and the stems of the leaves make use of the so called zweepslaglin (whiplash line.Similar vases are pictured in: "The Paris Salons 1895-1915, Vol. IV: Ceramics and Glass," by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1998, p. 371.ProvenancePrivate collection of Victor Arwas, LondonAcquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1995
A Dutch eggshell porcelain "Yellow Rose" vase by Rozenburg. decorated by W.P. Hartgring. The vase is decorated with a voluptuously blooming orange roses and buds. The variety shown here is a yellow cabbage rose, a hybrid rose developed by Dutch rose breeders in the period between the 17th century and the 19th century. They were also known as centifolia roses or hundred petals for their elaborate dense structure. The cabbage rose was renowned for its scent, cultivated in the city of of Grasse for perfurmery. The cabbage rose is encircled with cream colored lilacs and spiderwebs. The inclusion of the lilac and spiderweb by Hartgring was an homage to the firm''s most popular model, the purple lilac and spiderweb. Finely-veined green leaves curl around and behind the flowers. The decoration was meticulously executed using a stippling technique, recreating the texture of a "stipple engraving" print. Similar vases are pictured in: "The Paris Salons 1895-1915, Vol. IV: Ceramics and Glass," by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1998, p. 371.ProvenancePrivate collection of Victor Arwas, LondonAcquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1995
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