The upscale ceramics workshop Societe Faiencière Heraldique de Pierrefonds was founded in 1903 by the painter Olivier de Sorra, the Count Hallez d'Arros. He was enchanted by the picturesque village of Pierrefonds, about 50 miles Northeast of Paris. He built a pottery in the shadows of the commune's handsome chateau—decorated as it was with plenty of turrets and gargoyles.
The Count's original plan was to make handsome dinnerware—plates, bowls, tureens—bearing painted heraldic decoration. The plan didn't fly and soon Art Nouveau sculptor, Émile Bouillon, came-in to try something new. Bouillon's highly-sculptural works, beautifully-glazed (sometimes with crystalline finishes), scratched the world's Art Nouveau itch—and business took off. Soon Pierrefonds was selling in the smartest Paris shops (as well as in London, New York and throughout Europe). When the Moderne Style (later called Art Deco) became popular, Pierrefonds incorporated the new style amongst its offerings.
Every piece of Pierrefonds pottery is unique; the randomness of the applied glazing and the idiosyncrasies of their chemical reactions ensured that no two pieces were ever quite the same.
The Art Nouveau piece, shown above, was made in the Teens or Twenties. Two discreet handles alter the flow of the secondary glazes: cobalt, cornflower and earthy mossy green. Click on the photo above to learn more about this piece.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248