At the end of the nineteenth century French potters were strongly influenced by the naturalistic forms and variegated glazes of Asian ceramics. In 1900 at Sèvres, Léon Kann designed a number of gourd-shaped vases. The mellifluous lines and subtly graded coloring of this example merge an Asian aesthetic with the last flowering of the Art Nouveau style. A gentle spiral movement is sustained by the curve of the flowering vine and the artful placement of the snails.
Signature: Incised under glaze near base: L Kann
Marking: Stamped in black on underside: S / 1900 in triangle (Sèvres factory mark designating pâte nouvelle, 1900–11); mark incised on underside
[ Lillian Nassau, Inc. , New York, until 1989; sold to MMA ]