A salt-cellar in earthenware from Saint-Porchaire
XVIe siècle, faïence, 19 x 9 cm
Why is this work so important?
Ceramic enthusiasts all dream of owning a piece of Saint-Porchaire earthenware. There are only around thirty pieces in existence, which belong to the world’s most exclusive collections.
The Rothschild family owned several pieces of Saint-Porchaire earthenware. Given their royal origins and the fact that they were often referred to as ‘Henry II ware’, it is known that Edouard André endeavoured to acquire such a piece. He succeeded in doing so thanks to the enterprise of the antiques trader Spitzer, one of the contemporary specialists. These ceramics with a white background were intended to imitate Chinese porcelain, which was reputed and sought after in the fifteenth century. French potters found clay that was naturally white in Saintonge. The porcelain pieces were then decorated with moulded and stamped elements, giving them a pronounced relief.
This ceramic piece contains many elements in relief, particularly seashells.
Did you know?
One of the thirty pieces in existence was bought for over one million euros in 2014.