Style Japonism, Chinoiserie / Ref.13638
Fernand THESMAR, Important Chinese vase with a bronze mount and dragons
Width: 18'' ½ 47cm
Height: 23'' ¼ 59cm
Depth: 15'' ¾ 40cm
Good condition. Two cracks.
This important enamelled ceramic Chinese vase with a patinated bronze mount was made by the enameller Fernand Thesmar in the beginning of his enemaler career when he discovers the enamel work and starts his first tries in the 1870's.
Andre-Fernand Thesmar first devoted himself to oil painting and was known as a painter of flowers. He was educated in drawing in a factory for printed-fabric in Mulhouse where he had been placed at fourteen years old to learn the trade of a draftsman. His teacher was a painter of flowers: he “drew and dissected the plant with fury, requiring an anatomical analysis of shapes and a meticulous copy of nature.” He left this industrial environment to go to Paris in 1860 and engaged in various activities. It was probably for his talent as a painter that Thesmar was noticed in 1872 by Ferdinand Barbedienne. With Barbedienne, later Thesmar succeeded to the management of the production of enamels. The productions of Thesmar and Barbedienne reflected the interest that they had for the decorative techniques and compositions of Japanese enamel. It was as “co-operator of the Barbedienne company” that Thesmar exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in 1874, A cock pheasant from China. At the exposition in 1875, Thesmar exhibited two large enamel compositions on copper.
In 1891, Thesmar turned to the decoration of porcelain and introduced himself to Charles Lauth who, since 1879, led the Factory de Sèvres. Its at this time that the collaboration with the Barbedienne company ended. Afterwards, he would be especially known for having invented the “plique à jour” technique, which numerous pieces of are kept in public collections.
The enamelled decor on our vase was made in brown, red and green shades. Applied with friezes, we can recognize the influence of the Islam and Chinese arts through the succession of geometrical and flowery motifs. The patinated bronze foot and neck also depict an open work decor of which the drawn motif take their inspiration from the same sources. Finally, two small dragons, typical of the Chinese folklore, come to lighten up the mount by their presence.
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