New European Ceramics – part I

French Hand-Painted and Enameled Orientalist Vase by Keller & Guerin (LEO Design)

We’ve just received several large shipments of European art pottery from various points on The Continent.  Over the next several days, we’ll be featuring a few of the highlights—pieces which exhibit the range of our new acquisitions.  Please peruse our on-line shop (where some of them have been already been listed) or come into the shop to see the full collection in-person.

The piece above, hand-painted with raised enameling, is from the far East of France, specifically Lunéville in Alsace-Lorraine.  One may have assumed the piece was from the Far East of Asia—for its shape and deep (satisfying!) red color are the hallmarks of the Chinese. Made in the late 19th Century, the piece reflects the West’s fascination with Asia—though reinterpreted though European eyes as Aesthetic Movement Orientalism.  The use of bees as a decorative element reflects the time’s Darwinian fascination with all things creepy-crawly.

The workshop that made it, Keller & Guerin, was operated by a father and son-in-law, whose firm had evolved out of an earlier pottery from the early 18th Century.  Keller & Guerin enjoyed a successful export business—competing favorably with English and German makers.  Of course, much of Eastern France had been annexed by Germany (1871 – 1918)—including during the time this piece was made (around 1885).

This piece likely marked the waning days of its aesthetic period; Art Nouveau was in the wings, about to make its debut.  Keller & Guerin, always attuned to the times, turned their design to the exciting Nouveau style—even employing the design geniuses Edmond Lachenal, Ernest Bussière and others from the School of Nancy.

Please come into the shop to see this beautiful piece, or click on the photo above to learn more about it.

More newly-acquired European art pottery tomorrow.


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