Sunday, 27 November 2011

Quimper Pottery in Postcards

A follow on from the earlier posting "Massier in Vallauris", this time the French provincial country pottery of Quimper, illustrated in period postcard images. Firstly, can anyone confirm the correct pronunciation of Quimper ? is it "quim - per" or "kem - pair". Which ever version I say some expert corrects me to the other version.

I am sure most of you would have seen Quimper pottery around the antique fairs and centres, although you may not have known what what it was. The ware are easier to spot as so many of them where decorated with hand painted figures dressed in tradition Breton clothes. Like those worn by the potters and decorators in the cards below.

Quimper, is a town in the north west part of France the capital of the Finistere department of Brittany. It contribution to the world of art is the tin glazed faïence pottery made there since the late 17th century with a continuous documented history of production from 1707. The period of production that is popular with the modern collector starts from the 1870's through to the 1930's, which cover the traditional looking country pots and include some art deco inspired designs.

During this period there were 3 main factories - the Grande Maison De La Hubaudiere, Porquier and the Faiencerie D'Art Breton owned by Jules Henriot. The dating and attributions looks tobe a mine field and beyond my limited experience. For a better and fuller explanation of the histories involved, try

if you are looking to purchase Quimper Pottery, try

There are a few book on the subject that should help with detailed research.

Internet references, include;

Friday, 25 November 2011

Edouard Blin - Medals

Here is a striking art deco design French gilt bronze award medal, designed and signed E Blin. I'm not sure who these characters are, I assume some sort of music dieties. The clues are the Lyre or Harp and the inscription on the reverse; "Narbonne Concours International De Musique 4-5 June 1933". Exactly which diety - I don't know ? any suggestions.

Now for the academic bit - some biographical details

Édouard-Pierre Blin (1877-1946) was a French artist sculptor specialising in medals and bas-reliefs in bronze, born in Chartres in 1877. He studied under Jules-Clement Chaplain (1839-1909),  Louis Alexandre Bottee (1852-1941) and Hector Lemarie. See below for examples by these two artist - some styling clues perhaps.

Medals by his tutors - Chaplain (left) and Bottee (right)

Edouard was a success, both commercially, evidenced by the number of surviving medal designs and critically. His work was exhibited at the Salon de la Societe des Artistes Francais where he won several awards. Initially; an Honourable Mention in 1908 followed by a Bronze Medal in 1911, Silver in 1921 and finally a Gold Medal in 1933. The society made him a Chevalier D'Legion D'Honneur in 1934 followed by what must have been his greatest award, a Gold Medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1937.

Charles Lindburgh and The Spirit of St Louis.

Art Deco design award medals.

There are examples of his art in the collections of the British Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton and Hove Museum and the Imperial War Museum.  There are probably examples in other collections around the world and would be prized by any private collector interested in art deco bronze sculptor. Their values seem to vary greatly - some more common example from £30/40 right upto £250 !!

Perhaps his most recognisable medal is the "Nike of  Samothrace" engraved  just after the end of World War 1 as an awarded to those injured during the war, a French "Purple Heart".

To return to the "20thC Medal Artists" index - CLICK HERE
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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Massier in Vallauris

I have been trying to find a new subject for a series of postings -- and stumbled across this as an idea. Postcards of Potteries !! -- well; I think it is a good idea. Initially the series will start in France, some major names like the Massiers and Quimper, other like Malicorne will be little known to the anglo readers of this blog.

The Massier family of potters established potteries in Vallauris-Golfe Juan, France, with Jacques Massier (1801-71) followed by his sons Clement and Delphin and their cousin Jerome. They are regarded as the playing a pivotal role in establishing Vallauris as a centre of excellence in the field of artist and decorative art pottery. A legacy that continues today, through the like of Pablo Picasso at Madoura to The International Biennial of Ceramic Arts;held at the Castle museum.
There were 3 separate factories, each run by a different member of the family. They created the best art nouveau art pottery made in France, including monumental architectural majolica and the famed iridescent lustre glazes, now valued so highly. Click here for the family tree.

Clément Massier (1844-1917)

 Delphin Massier (1836-1907)

Jérôme Massier (1850-1926)

Useful internet references, include;

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Marcel Renard (1893-1974)

Another French medal designer whose art deco designs I like -- Marcel Claude Renard (1893-1974)

As with many artists, information about his life, training and career is hard to find - here I will try and make sense of the various references to him found floating about the world wide web. Starting here with two art deco bronze plaquettes, both date from the 1920's with the one on the left dated 1925.

Marcel was born on the 5th August 1893 in Lyon, the son and pupil of Leopold Renard. He studied under Rost and Boucher at the École des Beaux-Arts, Lyon and later at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Whilst studying in Lyon he was a pupil of the artist Tony Tollet (1857-1953), who was Professor and Director at the City art school and President of the Société Lyonnaise des Beaux-Arts.

During his career he created many medals and bas-releif panels, usually in the stylised art deco style that was in favour during the early period of his working life. Whether this was his style or a pragmatic response to contempory fashion, I don't know - what I do know is that I like them. The medals have a similar feel to those of Jean Vernon.

His work was well respected in period as he exhibited at the Salon des Artists Francais and at the Salon des Artistes Decorateurs in 1925 (2nd class medal) and again in 1934 (1st class medal)

Many of the medals seen regularly are from a series relating to shipping lines and packet ships. I guess these were souvenirs of holidays and cruises. Here are a few ---

There are medal and sculptural works in several museum collections including the; Victoria & Albert Museum, London (click here to view).

Amongst his other works - he created the monumental bas-relief panels the decorate the facade of the Lycée du Turgot in Limoges and a sculpture titled 'Le Rhône et la Saône' for a Bridge Ornament in the City of Lyon in 1936.
There are many more medals and sculptures to view on the internet - but very little biographical information. His lasting legacy are the beautiful works of art he created. They are always admired and usually easy to sell - partly because they are masterly engraved but mainly because the "Art Deco" style is much in vogue. To finish off, here is a medal I recently sold, not the most attractive subjects, never the less it sold on it quality alone !! that is praise .

More information - please.

To return to the "20thC Medal Artists" index - CLICK HERE
This blog is "free to all" with no joining fees - financed by the few clicks on sponsored adverts.

Internet references;