Posted 4 years ago
Clement Massier, largely with the assistance of Levy-Durhmer, is often credited with introducing Symbolist movement motifs to Art Nouveau pottery, but it was his older brother Delphin Massier who often would take those Symbolist motifs and forms and turn up the aesthetic to eleven. This electrically iridescent vase is particularly interesting for the addition of painted butterflies on the vase base, neck and back, which adds to the mystery and allure of the piece. Delphin was arguably better than Clement in bringing out strong iridescence in his pieces, which can clearly be seen here. The intense colors and shine would gives the impression this piece is constructed of carnival glass, not luster glazed stoneware.
The underside is doubly interesting, in that the form is both incised with "Delphin Massier" and painted the same, which makes me wonder if Delphin actually had a hand in modeling the form. I haven't seen another Delphin Massier piece with an incised bottom. Dimensions: 12"(H) x 8"(W, base)
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.