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1903-05 Émile Decoeur Unusual Proto-Modernist Vase for L'Art Ceramique

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Art Nouveau - French Ceramics59 of 72Large Dephin Massier Symbolist Ceramic VaseJean Langlade French Art Nouveau Vegetal Form Stoneware Vase
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Posted 5 years ago


(140 items)

Émile Decoeur proto-modernist stoneware multiple tulip (?) vase produced for retail at L'Art Céramique, the Paris ceramics gallery co-owned by Decoeur and Fernand Rumèbe.

This vase has an interesting combination of vegetal-type form, matte and luster drip glaze and proto-modernist design. Certainly one of the more unusual and rare Decoeur forms. Based upon the marks underneath, this vase's creation can reasonably be estimated to be between 1903-05.

Dimensions: 9"(L) x 3.5"(H).


Born in Paris in 1876 and orphaned at the age of 14, Émile Decoeur's only formal art classes were evening drawing lessons taken during his apprenticeship. Because his work under Edmond Lachenal was signed only by the master, it is impossible to document his progress until 1900, when he was awarded a bronze medal at World's Fair as Lachenal's assistant. It was only in 1901 that Decoeur was first allowed to initial his work, always in conjunction with Lachenal's name.

Many of the most celebrated and beautiful pieces that issued from Lachenal's studio in the years after 1900 were designed and executed by Decoeur. Whether floral or abstract, Decoeur's work was marked by balanced proportions and strong, rhythmical lines. His pottery often bears rich flambé glazes in exciting combinations and with great depth of color. While assisting Lachenal in Châtillon-sous-Bagneux, Decoeur lived (and perhaps worked) in Paris, on the rue Charles Divry. He was still listed as the student of Lachenal in the catalogue of the 1903 Salon. But soon after its publication, Decoeur moved to 14-16 rue Gudin and set up his own atelier, "L'Art Céramique," where also ran a small gallery. During these years Decoeur continued in the organic, richly sculpted style he had practiced while with Lachenal.

Decoeur was joined by another young ceramist, Fernand Rumèbe (1874-1952), and the two worked side-by-side for the next three years. The years 1907-08 were a turning point for Decouer: his association with Rumèbe came to an end and, although he kept the Parisian gallery for a while longer, he moved to Fontenay-aux-Roses, a town just beyond Châtillon, where he set up kilns that he would use for the rest of his career. (Ref: Jason Jacques, Inc.)


  1. cogito cogito, 5 years ago
    Thanks, Bellin68! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

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