Posted 5 months ago
Named "Aquatic Hypnotic" by gallerist Jason Jacques, this iridescent luster glazed earthenware vase by Delphin Massier could not be more aptly described. This vase (circa 1895-1900) is a fascinating mix of Japonisme subject matter, likely of aquatic creatures common to Vallauris (France), and Symbolist color and design reverie. An undulating and mesmerizing brain coral-like background provides a striking field, upon which an array of sea life play. A large fish, crab and two seahorses cavort on the vase surface and their rendering in similar colors as the background provide a "dreamlike" quality so typical of the Symbolist works of the era. Painted underneath, "Delphin Massier, Vallauris, AM." Dimensions: 5" (H) x 5.75"(W).
The older brother of Clément Massier, Delphin Massier (1836-1907) had inherited his share of the family ceramics business upon the death of their father Jacques in 1871. When Clément relocated to one of the family properties in southern Vallauris, Delphin moved elsewhere in Vallauris, leaving Jacques's factory to a second cousin, Jean Baptiste Massier (son of Jerome Massier). Delphin specialized in polychrome enameled faience destined for home and garden. During the Art Nouveau years, he mastered the metallic luster glazing. Considering how close the brothers were, it is likely that Delphin learned the basic techniques for luster production from Clement, who had perfected them during the late 1880s. Delphin Massier's luster pieces are not as common as Clément's, but when found they typically have brilliant iridescence and Japonisme motifs.
Delphin Massier Awards
- 1891 Exposition, Cannes. Medaille d'or
- 1894 Exposition Internationale, Lyon. Medaille de bronze
- 1895 Exposition Internationale, Bordeaux. Medaille d'or
- 1897 Exposition Internationale, Bruxelles. Medaille d'or
- 1897 Exposition de la céramique et des arts du feu, Paris. Diplome d'honneur
- Les Massier: Cote cour, cote jardin. (2009). Musee Magnelli, Musee de la Ceramique de Vallauris. Silvana Editoriale.
- Clement Massier: Master of iridescence. (2006). Exhibition Catalog Jason Jacques Gallery, Nov. 3, 2006 - Feb. 4, 2007. Jason Jacques Gallery Press.