Pair Large Square Baluster Faience Vases Marseilles Style of Gaspard Robert
A pair of impressive highly decorative large square section baluster shaped French faience (tin glazed earthenware) vases each with two large twisting handles shaped to imitate bamboo. The shape of the vases closely follow that of the Chinese Kangxi vase circa 1700 in the Victoria and Albert museum reference number c.1284-1910. The vases have been made in the antique Marseilles style and hand decorated in the 18th century manner of Gaspard Robert, or some may say La Veuve Perrin.
These vases are beautifully and very skillfully hand painted to the fronts and backs with four different scenes of horseman or chevaliers in mid 18th century dress at a tented encampment which is set among trees. There are a number of various supporting figures including a dog. The base neck and sides of the vases are additionally decorated with polychrome floral sprays. The sides have impressively modelled and naturalisticaly painted twisting sprouting bamboo shaped handles. The base and neck have puce lined borders.
The colour palette is a wide one indicating that these are "Petit feu" or low fired faience, a method that was developed in the second half of the eighteenth century, it refers to a process whereby the clay body is fired before being glazed and decorated with metallic oxides and then it is fired again at a lower temperature; pieces can also go through a third firing depending upon the complexity of the decoration.
We believe the vases to be 20th century versions in the antique Provencal style of Louis XVI, decorated in a manner that was encouraged by Marcel Joannon, aka Marcel Provence, to rejuvenate the then failing ceramic industry in Provence around Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and the surrounding environs. There are no obvious makers marks to the bases, but on very close inspection with a 30x jeweller's loupe there is a tiny smudge that appears to be an indistinct mark that we think includes the name Riez, a village with a history of fainceries about 11 km from Moustiers. In fact François Viry the famous painter who assisted Pierre Clérissy to establish his Faiencerie in Moustiers was also from Riez.
The vases are in good vintage condition however, one vase has had a few small faience glaze flaking touched in on one of the handles. As does one top corner of the other vase. Please see the images.
These are a stunning pair to add to any collection and beautiful statement display items to suit any interior.
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Height 16 5/8 inches ( 42 cm)
Width 7 1/8 inches ( 18 cm)
Depth 6 1/4 inches ( 16 cm)
Weight 3619 grammes unpacked