Posted 5 years ago
About six months ago I came across this plate in a Salvation Army Store for a dollar. It had been neglected because of the hairline damage. I was attracted by the hand painted decoration and the signature was a name that I did not recognize. But at the back was the stamp of the famous ceramics firm 'Primavera'. At that price it was something to buy and find out who was this Colette Gueden.
On the net I did not have much trouble in finding information about Ms. Gueden (1905 - 2000). She was not only a ceramics person but also designed furniture. Her female figures for Primavera are to die for!
This plate I believe is from the 1930's and is part of a series called in French: les Cotes de France
The site 'Les Arts Decoratifs' had this to say about her:
The name and work of Colette Gueden are closely associated with Primavera, design studio of the department store chain Printemps. Born in 1905 in Indochina. In 1923 Colette Gueden entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Saint-Etienne where she graduated three years later. In 1927 in Paris, she worked as a designer at Primavera alongside Claude Lévy, Gisele Favre, Madeleine Sougez. She became manager in 1934, then director in 1938. At that time, the fame of Primavera became well established, founded in 1912 by René Guilleries, and aided by his wife, designer Charlotte Chauchet-Guilleries the workshop aimed to provide furniture and objects of modern style to affordable prices to everyone. Colette Gueden, which defined her work as "tabletterie" ( a form of high-end creative wood-turning ), directed her early research into new materials (horn, glass, metal, mother of pearl). Her style can be placed under the heading "fantasy". This "fantasy" applied brilliantly to all projects: wallpapers, jewelry, ornaments and especially in ceramics. In the mid-30s, Colette she created table services on the themes of 'Monuments of Paris' & the 'Coast of France'. In the 1940's she created at Saint-Leu-la-Foret a series of busts and female faces partially glazed decorated with shells and gently wavy hair. In the 50's Colette Gueden she was able to adapt easily to new trends and was surrounded by a team of young designers fresh out of art schools: Alain Le Foll, Geneviève Pons, Peter Broc who helped organize small fairs in the spring (from 1950 to 1967) on various topics "Plein Air", "Galot Spring", "Alcove". Gueden Colette made drawings for ceramics that were created elsewhere by Pol Chambost, the workshops in Vallauris or those of Limoges. She also received prestigious commissions: she designed furniture for President Vincent Auriol, for the steamer La Marseillaise (1949) she created large bas-reliefs decorated with still life. Colette Gueden worked on at Primavera until 1972.