Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Plate with arms of the Poterat family

Date:
ca. 1710
Culture:
French, Rouen
Medium:
Faience (tin-glazed earthenware)
Dimensions:
Diameter: 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Pottery
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.1778
Not on view
Faience, or tin-glazed and enameled earthenware, first emerged in France during the sixteenth century, reaching widespread usage among elite patrons during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, prior to the establishment of soft-paste porcelain factories. Although characterized as more provincial in style than porcelain, French faience was used at the court of Louis XIV as part of elaborate meals and displays, with large-scale vessels incorporated into the Baroque garden designs of Versailles. Earlier examples of French faience attest to the strong influence of maiolica artists from Italy. Later works demonstrate the ways in which cities such as Nevers, Rouen, Lyon, Moustiers, and Marseille developed innovative vessel shapes and decorative motifs prized among collectors throughout Europe.

While faience can be created from a wide mixture of clays, it is foremost distinguished by the milky opaque white color achieved by the addition of tin oxide to the glaze. French faience is typically divided into two types. Grand feu (high fire) describes pieces that have been decorated with glaze and metallic oxides before being fired a single time at a high temperature of around 1650°F (900°C). Petit feu (low-fire) faience, developed in the second half of the eighteenth century, refers to a process whereby the clay body is fired before being glazed and decorated with metallic oxides and then fired again at a lower temperature; pieces can also go through a third firing. Grand feu pieces have a more limited color palette that consists of blue, yellow, brown-purple, and green. By contrast, the lower firing temperature of petit feu faience enabled both greater precision in painting techniques and variety in the range of colors.
Marking: In blue enamel on underside: g
Gaston Le Breton (before 1910) ; J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1917; to MMA)
Related Objects

Plateau

Artist: After a design by Jacques Stella (French, Lyons 1596–1657 Paris) Date: ca. 1725 Medium: Faience (tin-glazed earthenware) Accession: 17.190.1860 On view in:Gallery 551

54 Tiles from the chapel of Château de la Bastie d'Urfé, France

Artist: Masséot Abaquesne (French, active 1538–57) Date: ca. 1557–60 Medium: Faience (tin-glazed earthenware) Accession: 17.190.1953 On view in:Gallery 502

Tiles with the devices of Claude d'Urfé

Artist: Masséot Abaquesne (French, active 1538–57) Date: ca. 1557–60 Medium: Faience (tin-glazed earthenware) Accession: 17.190.1954 On view in:Gallery 502

Potpourri with cover

Artist: Niderviller Date: 1760–65 Medium: Faience (tin-glazed earthenware) Accession: 50.211.82a, b On view in:Gallery 545

Jug (chevrette)

Artist: Workshop of Masséot Abaquesne (French, active 1538–57) and Date: ca. 1545 Medium: Faience (tin-glazed earthenware) Accession: 17.190.1794 On view in:Gallery 544