October 26, 2015

Palissy Ware Snakes

Palissy ware is a 19th-century term for ceramics produced in the style of the famous 6th century French potter Bernard Palissy. This distinctive style of pottery is characterized by three-dimensional modeled life sized replicas and real life castings of amphibians such as snakes, fish, lizards, frogs, and snails and other plantlife and shells which were arranged onto large platters or plates which he called "rustic pottery". The authentic Palissay ware is musuem quality and rare.

What better way than to celebrate the week of Halloween, than with Palissy ware snakes!

In 1851 Palissy ware was introduced by Minton & Co  at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London which brought back the Palissy style of ting lazed pottery with animal and plant motifs which was also similiar in style to the Italian Renaissance style of maiolica which they call Majolica ware, Majolica Palissy ware but due to the time period it is known as Victorian Majolica. Wedgwood began to manufacture majolica about ten years after the Minton's and then many other potters thereafter began to manufacture their own version of majolica sometimes adding their own twist by using flowers, fruits, vegetables and birds and breaking away from the platter design but adding teapots, plates, jugs, cachepots and more. By the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, majolica production slowly came to an end.

I think some of the Portuguese artists in the 19th century Palissy style Majolica that kept with the similiar style as you can see the natural details from the scales on the snakeskin and fish, the detail of the leaves and ferns. 

Here are 2 pieces from my mother-in-law from Portuguese artist, Jose A. Cunha. You can see the scene depicts natural authenticity in both plates where the snake is attacking the frog. 

Whereas the Majolica introduced so many other styles and was produced by a number of companies, some of the intricate scientific detail became lost, and other more "friendlier" reptiles were added, but the pieces are still beautiful. 

From antique dealer Linda Ketterling from The French Tangerine

Wedgwood Fish platter from Charles L. Washburne

Minton covered lobster dish from Majolica Society

Get your own snakes plates at 1st Dibs

Passages Antiques in New Orleans that carries alot of the 19th-20th century Majolica and Palissy ware from Architectural Digest

Blogger's visit inside Passages Antiques Interior Design Musings

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