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Vase

Vase

  • Place of origin:

    Choisy-le-Roi (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1895-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chaplet, Ernest, born 1835 - died 1909 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain, with flammée glaze

  • Museum number:

    1496-1900

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case 15, shelf 3

This vase is by the French ceramicist Ernest Chaplet (1835-1909). Chaplet trained at Sèvres in decoration, design and ceramic techniques and went on to work at Choisy-le-Roi, then for the Laurin pottery at Bourg-la-Reine and from 1875 for the Limoges company, Charles Haviland & cie, in a workshop at Auteuil, developing new techniques on stoneware and porcelain. In the early 1880s he moved to a new Haviland studio in Vaugirard, Paris which was ceded to him in 1887. He worked there independently and became increasingly preoccupied with the relationship between material, form and colour, experimenting endlessly.

The distinctive colouring of this vase demonstrates Chaplet's interest in glaze effects and is inspired by Chinese ceramics. The high-temperature copper-red flammée glazes of 18th century Chinese porcelain became the subject of intensive research and experiment in the years around 1900, both by factories and individual makers. Their re-creation depended entirely on the potter's knowledge of chemistry as well as his skill at firing these dramatic and unpredictable glazes. The technique produced a range of colours from a deep bright red through a spectrum of violet, blue, green, purple and combinations of all of these. Chaplet kept his own recipes a closely guarded secret. Towards the end of his life, when blindness brought his career as a potter to its end, Chaplet destroyed all his notebooks.

Physical description

Porcelain vase with a flammée glaze. Globular with short neck.

Place of Origin

Choisy-le-Roi (made)

Date

ca. 1895-1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Chaplet, Ernest, born 1835 - died 1909 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain, with flammée glaze

Marks and inscriptions

Circle of dots around a cross, impressed
The circle of dots in the form of a rosary is a play on the potter's name, 'chaplet'

Dimensions

Height: 9.8 cm, Diameter: 7 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Berguin et Varangier, 26 Rue Vignon, Paris

Historical significance: Ernest Chaplet (1835-1909), born at Sèvres, began work at the State factory at the age of 12. He became a highly skilled ceramicist working in potteries at Choisy-le-Roi and Bourg-la-Reine and then for the Limoges manufacturers, the Haviland brothers at a new workshop in Auteuil. In 1881 Haviland provided him with a studio at rue Blomet, Vaugirard, Paris. There he developed high temperature glazes on porcelain, and on stoneware. In 1886 he bought the workshop and concentrated on these glazes, as an independent potter, keeping his glazes recipes and firing temperatures a closely-guarded secret. He was regarded by his contemporaries as the consummate ceramicist. Chaplet sold the workshop to August Delaherche in 1887 and moved back to Choisy-le-Roi where he specialised in porcelain.

Historical context note

Ernest Chaplet was one of the most influential of the French ceramists working with glazes fired at great heat and known as 'flambé', or 'flammé'. This difficult and unpredictable technique combined the application of glazes on hard porcelain with a firing in which flames contact the glazes. The atmosphere known as reducing or oxidising condition within the kiln is rendered gaseous by controlled starvation of the oxygen flow through the fire mouths and the extremely high temperatures reached. Chaplet is believed to have fired at temperatures up to 1350 degrees Celsius.

Descriptive line

Vase, France (Choisy-le-Roi); made by Ernest Chaplet; ca. 1895-1900

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs: Ernest Chaplet, catalogue, 1976
d'Albis, J.: 'Chaplet Master Potter', in Connoisseur, ?June, 1976, pp129-136
Roger-Marx: 'Souvenirs sur Ernest Chaplet'; Art et Decoration, xxvii, Jan-June, 1910, pp.89-98
pp.196-7, 204
Greenhalgh, Paul (Ed.), Art Nouveau: 1890-1914 . London: V&A Publications, 2000

Labels and date

'American and European Art and Design 1800-1900'

Ernest Chaplet was one of the most influential of the French ceramists working with glazes fired at great heat and known as 'flambé', or 'flammé'. This difficult and unpredictable technique combined the application of glazes on hard porcelain with a firing in which flames contact the glazes. The atmosphere known as reducing or oxidising condition within the kiln is rendered gaseous by controlled starvation of the oxygen flow through the fire mouths and the extremely high temperatures reached. Chaplet is believed to have fired at temperatures up to 1350 degrees Celsius. [1987-2006]

Materials

Porcelain

Techniques

Glazed

Categories

Porcelain; Ceramics; Vases

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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