SÈVRES Magazine N° 26


The 26th issue of the SÈVRES Magazine, unique annual scientific publication in French devoted to ceramics, was just published in September 2017. It is mailed to the members of the Société des Amis du musée national de Céramique, Friends of the Sèvres Museum Society.

Its content is indicated below. The translation into English of the titles and abstracts of the 13 contributions, concerning to ceramics produced from the Middle Age to the contemporary period, is due to Professor Paul Arthur whom we express our thanks. The magazine also includes recent information relevant to publications on ceramics, recent acquisitions of the Sèvres Ceramics Museum, and activities of the Friends of the Sèvres Museum Society.


  • « Céramiques de l’Iran médiéval prémongol (11ème-13ème siècles) au musée national de Céramique à Sèvres : Réflexions sur l’origine et les ateliers de céramiques à pâte siliceuse », par Pierre Siméon
    Ceramics of Pre-Mongolian medieval Iran (11th-13th cent.) at the Sèvres Museum: reflections on the origins of siliceous ceramics workshops” by Pierre Siméon

The diversity of the 11th to 13th century repertoire of ceramics with siliceous paste discovered in Iran and in Central Asia is always a surprise to the general public. The eye is first attracted by the fineness of their walls and their cobalt blue and turquoise colours. The observer does usually not know that these ceramics represent a technical and stylistic innovation that was unprecedented throughout the medieval world around the year 1000. The complete objects that are held in the collections of the National Museum of Ceramics at Sèvres allows us to inquire into the origin of this technique and the contribution of the Islamic world. With our recent fieldwork, this corpus also allows us to propose a preliminary inventory of the workshops that produced siliceous paste fabrics and marketed them in the eastern parts of the medieval Orient.

  • « Deux plaques en terres cuites attribuées à Agostino De’ Fondulis récemment redécouvertes au musée national de Céramique à Sèvres », par Giancarla Cilmi
     “Two terra cotta plates attributed to Agostino De’ Fondulis recently discovered at Sèvres” by Giancarla Cilmi

Rediscovering a work of art from a museum’s storage is always a rewarding experience for a researcher. This is the case for these two terra cotta plates from a Lombard palace dating from the 15th century. These pieces are an important addition to the collection of the National Museum of Ceramics in Sèvres.

  • « Au sujet des lettres-dates des porcelaines de Vincennes et de Sèvres, plaidoyer pour des publications claires », par Pierre Gregory
    On the Vincennes and Sèvres porcelain’s date-letters, an argument for clear publications” by Pierre Gregory

Pierre Gregory, with his innovative publications, has played a pioneering and decisive role in shedding light on the question of the dating of the dated-letters given by Riocreux. Following the research of Rosalind Savill on the date of appearance of the pink ground, it has been recognised that the dated-letters changed during the year. In his article published in 2015 in “Sèvres” magazine N° 24, David Peters has shown that these letters correspond to a calendar year, pushing back the dating of Riocreux by a year. The “Sèvres” revue offers its pages to recognized authors so as to express their differing positions in a spirit of enquiry and dialogue. Thus, following Peters’ comprehensive article, we are very pleased to publish the response by Gregory.

  • « La restauration des Animaux de Meissen au musée national de Céramique à Sèvres : un moment privilégié de la connaissance des œuvres », par Laure Chambert-Loir
    The restoration of the Meissen animals at Sèvres : a special moment for the knowlege of the works” by Laure Chambert-Loir

The collection of « Meissen animals » held by Sèvres forms a remarkable group for a variety of reasons. The restoration of three birds by the museum’s conservation laboratory between September 2015 and March 2016 broadens historical and technical knowledge of these monumental porcelain sculptures that count amongst the very first creations in European hard-paste porcelain.

  • « A la Cour des Bourbons de Naples : le Dessert per 60 coverti », par Angela Caròla-Perrotti
    At the Bourbon’s court in Naples: «Dessert per 60 coverti»” by Angela Carola Perrotti

A document dated 1830 has permitted the rediscovery of a majestic dessert service made by the « Real Fabbrica Ferdinandea » around 1785 for King Ferdinand IV of Naples. The ensemble, totalling 114 pieces in bisque, all found in the reserve collections of the National Museum of Capodimonte, has provided the opportunity to attempt a reconstruction of the sole Neapolitan dessert service to have survived the political upheavals, and the only one to have totally survived today.

  • « A propos d’un autre buste représentant un céramiste de la dynastie Fouque … », par Marie-Germaine Beaux-Laffon
    About another bust depicting a ceramist of the Fouque dynasty …” by Marie-Germaine Beaux-Laffon

Upon reading the article that was published in the Sèvres Magazine N° 24 in 2015, « A propos d’un buste retrouvé de Joseph-Jacques Fouque… », concerning a ceramist at Toulouse, Mrs. Bernadette de Rességuier, former curator of the museum of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, recalled a bust in terracotta of the same workmanship exhibited at the museum’s entrance and now in the reserves collection. The comparison of the two busts raises a number of questions: where did the other bust come from, what affinities and differences are there between the two, who does it represent and who was the sculptor?

  • « Le service de dessert aux costumes russes de la manufacture impériale : un exemple de porcelaine patriotique  », par Tamara Nossovich
    The dessert set with Russian costumes of the Imperial Manufactory: An example of patriotic porcelain” by Tamara Nossovich

This study is dedicated to one of the most important table services produced by the Imperial porcelain factory of Saint-Petersburg, which illustrates the costumes, landscapes and customs of all the populations of the Russian Empire. It was commissioned in 1809 and its production lasted fifteen years because of the quantity of new forms, partly inspired by French models, the importance of the painted scenes for which the author studied the sources, and the golden ornamentation. The analysis concludes with an examination of the history of the service in the Imperial and later national collections.

  • « Les émaux bressans à leur apogée, de la seconde moitié du 19e siècle au premier quart du 20e siècle », par Aurélie Faivre
    Bressan enamels at their peak in the second half of the 19th and first quarter of the 20th century” by Aurélie Faivre

The Bressan enamels reach their apogee in the second half of the 19th and the first quarter of the 20th century. Located at Bresse de l’Ain, their manufactory remains immutable. Their stylistic and historical origins are not clear. From the 1850s, they are mentioned in written sources and the number of jewellers producing them increased; the maison Bonnet-Decourcelles, which was object of an origin myth, stands out. The Bressan enamels respond to the cultural values of an eclectic society, mainly appealing to a comfortable urban clientele. They were praised at the World Fairs.

  • « Alfred Le Chatelier et l’Atelier de Glatigny », par Paul Arthur
    Alfred Le Chatelier and the workshop in Glatigny” by Paul Arthur

Alfred Le Chatelier, who had a rich and varied career, at one moment of his life, devoted himself to ceramics. He founded the Atelier de Glatigny, a little-known firm whose existence was brief (1897-1902) but highly ambitious, both technically, thanks to the help of eminent chemists, and in terms of its objective: to manufacture high quality items in stoneware and porcelain at accessible prices. The artists of the atelier were to remain anonymous. Some      possible names are proposed.

  • « Les vases de Sèvres et de Gallé montés par Cardeilhac, Arts du feu et orfèvrerie autour de 1900 », par Anne Gros
    Sèvres and Gallé vases gilded by Cardeilhac, Ceramic art and goldsmithing around 1900“, by Anne Gros

Ornamental mounts on vases witnessed a renewal at the end of the 19th century. The vases by Sèvres and by Émile Gallé dating to around 1900 with mounts by the jeweller Ernest Cardeilhac illustrate this evolution in France during the Art nouveau period and are amongst the most successful examples of the craft. They testify to both the excellence reached by the métiers d’art in this period, and the communion of ideas that link the potter, the glassmaker and the jeweller. We propose to study some examples that are represented in the archive of Cardeilhac drawings in the Bouilhet Christofle museum, selecting those which existence is also documented.

  • « Dubuffet et la manufacture de Sèvres : le rêve inachevé », par Marie-Aiméee Suire
    Dubuffet and the Sèvres factory: the unfinished dream” by Marie-Aimée Suire

The recent discovery in private collections of two plaques in Sèvres porcelain shed light on a hitherto unknown collaboration: that of Jean Dubuffet, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, with the National Manufactory of Sèvres.

  • « Ors et décors. Les dépôts de la manufacture de Sèvres au palais de l’Élysée », par Soazig Guilmin
    Gold and decorations.  The works of the Sèvres Manufactory on loan to the Elysée Palace” by Soazig Guilmin

From 1848 and the coming of the Second Republic, the Sèvres manufactory registered a number of works for the presidential tables and the decoration of the salons of the Élysée Palace. These large sets follow two parallel rationales: the perpetuation of decoration inherited from the past and the pursuit of modernity.

  • « L’épopée des donations Pierre Jourdan-Barry depuis 1996 », par Jean-Gabriel Peyre
    Tribute to Pierre Jourdan-Barry” by Jean-Gabriel Peyre   

Pierre Jourdan-Barry was the greatest donator of French ceramics to our museums in the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries. His donations are comprised exclusively of faïence and porcelain of Marseilles and faïence of Moustiers. He passed away on March 21st 2016.