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Style Art Nouveau / Ref.12820

Théodore DECK (1823-1891), Earthenware dish with a flying mallard


Height: 1'' ⅝  4cm
Diameter: 11'' ¾  30cm

19th century

Good condition

This glazed ceramic dish was made in the workshop of the ceramist Théodore Deck (1823-1891).

Théodore Deck initially trained as a stove maker. When he set up in Paris on his own account in 1858, he made stove linings and then, on the strength of his success, moved into ceramics. The studio produced many dishes in collaboration with well-known painters, including Ernest Carrière, who made a series of dishes on the same subject as this one in the 1890s-1900s. Deck gradually perfected his technique and enjoyed great success at the many World’s Fairs he took part in. In 1878, he was made an Officer of the Légion d'Honneur. He ran the Sèvres factory between 1887 and his death in 1891.

The dish is decorated with an extremely naturalistic mallard captured in full flight, in the middle of a sky with cottony clouds and above a vast expanse of water as if wrinkled by a breath of wind. The background of this dish is particularly elaborate, clearly distinguishing between the sky and the water thanks to variations in the thickness of the glaze. This decoration reveals Deck’s interest in Far Eastern art, which he collected from the 1870s onwards. This inspiration is particularly evident in the choice of the mallard, often depicted by Hiroshige in his prints.

This work is an emblematic example of Théodore Deck’s mastery of the cloisonné enamel technique from 1874 onwards, enabling him to achieve great finesse in his work: the bird is depicted with great precision and clarity.

The Théodore Deck et des pays du Florival Museum, in Guebwiller, has a dish also made by Deck, decorated with a mallard taking flight in front of a golden sun, which is very similar to another dish in the Marc Maison gallery.

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