Typical French majolica vase from the Cevennes (France).
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|Height||20.08 in||51 cm|
|Maximum diameter||29.13 in||74 cm|
Anduze vases are an artigianal specialty from the Cévennes, a cultural region and range of mountains in south-central France, on the south-east edge of the Massif Central. It is a local pottery tradition which had enjoyed great success since the end of the 18th century. An Anduze vase needs three distinctive elements: shape, decorations and colors. These peculiarities are specific to it, and only the pottery which contains all of its elements is qualified as Anduze vases. The other models produced at Anduze are not qualified as such if one of these characteristics is missing.
The origins of the Anduze vases are the subject of several local legends such as it is inspired by Italian Medici style vases or adorned the parks of the Palace of Versailles in the time of the Sun King. In reality, the Anduze vase was born during the second half of the 17th century. It is the result of the different craft traditions of the potters of Provence and Languedoc. Its development is linked to that of the production of citrus fruits which need to be brought in the winter so as not to freeze, and therefore not to be directly planted in the ground. The fashion for the orangery contributed to the development of the horticultural ornamental vase fashion.
The first model of Anduze pot that could be perfectly identified dates from 1728 and is the work of the family of potters Gautier, installed in the city of Anduze since the 16th century. However, the success of this model was mainly due to the boom in production by the Boisset family at the end of the 18th century. The Boisset family, in reality born and trained in the art of Anduze pottery by the Gautier family, will eventually absorb the Gautier family in the 19th century.
The 19th century was precisely marked by the specialization of Languedoc potters in garden vases, like those of Anduze. Indeed, these are very successful, allowing, from the Revolution until 1880, a proliferation of the trade of Anduze pots in several French provinces and even in the Parisian gardens of the Empire. Napoleon I himself had it supplied, as evidenced by an order found in the archives of the Boisset family, but these, although delivered, remained unpaid.
If the manufacturing techniques have always remained the same, the vase has undergone a slight stylistic evolution by sporting more elegant and slender forms, while each of the potters marked their difference in the shape of the garlands adorning the vase.
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