A rare, mid 18th century, French, rococo, faience, jardinière shaped antique lamp. The jardinière and original cover produced by the Veuve Perrin faience pottery.
The jardinière with molded “rope” style handles. The bottom half of the urn encircled by a band of pink passementerie painted with a pale, lemon ribbon meander. The reverse side of the lamp painted in a pastel palette with a loose bouquet of summer flowers. The base of the urn painted with bouquets and sprays of roses, carnations and forget-me-nots. The outer edge of the cover and the circular base painted in pale green with a ribbon tied, laurel wreath.
The lamp seated on a custom made, water gilded, maple wood stand. The lamp shown with a pleated, dusky pink, silk shade suggestion.
The Veuve Perrin faience pottery was established in Marseilles by Claude Perrin (1696-1748) in 1740. At his death in 1748, his widow, Madame Pierrette Candelot, took over the management of production under the name of "Veuve Perrin" or "Perrin’s widow". Under her management, production flourished, especially the quality of the flower painting and delicate figure painting.
Under her astute management, the painting assumed a very feminine style, beautifully illustrated by this lamp. With outstanding foresight, Madame Perrin enrolled her faience painters in French art academies to develop and refine the elegant style of painting that we can see today. It should also be remembered that painting on faience was notoriously difficult, the painter using the dry unglazed faience surface as the canvas.
Her delicate flower painting is renowned for its loose bouquets of summer flowers, small sprays and sprigs, quite often including moths and butterflies, ladybirds and caterpillars and always painted with a delicate palette of pastel enamels. It is also known that many of the painters picked bunches of flowers on their way to work as models for the day.
The quality of the flower painting clearly shows that the flowers were painted from nature. The beautiful central figure subject of pastoral lovers, riverside fishing, is known as “sont-ils seule la pêche?” or "are they only fishing?" This rural romantic subject shows her style as naturalistic, informal and yet with a sense of formality.
Madame Perrin died in 1793 and production continued, struggling through the terrible violence of the French revolution until finely closing in 1803.
I believe it can be helpful to see an item like this faience jardinière through the lens of a time line as this adds perspective and appreciation. When this particular lamp base was produced in 1760, it was the coronation year of George III, the new King and King of America, (the American Revolution was still sixteen years into the future) and France was ruled by Louis XVI and the Queen of France was Marie Antoinette - 250 years ago.
The rococo style evolved in 18th century France and by the mid 18th century became the predominant French decorative style. It greatly influenced architecture and painting and most especially, interiors and the decorative arts. The rococo colours are softer with emphasis on romantic landscapes and pastoral scenes, often depicting the leisurely outings of courting couples.
A very charming lamp, with flowers 250 years old, but still looking as fresh and pretty as the summer of 1760. The lamp shown with an ashes of roses, knife pleated silk lamp shade.
Louis XVI - Circa 1760
Overall height (including shades) 20"/51 cm approx
Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications