Iridescent Caldron Flowerpot, Clément Massier, Vallauris, France, circa 1900
This iridescent caldron flowerpot designed by Clément Massier, annotated “Hôtel Ritz 18 / 10 / 85”, remains an exceptional piece, resolutely unique in the master’s production. Three decorative handles decorate this collar, whose regularity is broken by three earpieces pointing towards the sky. The audacity of the singular form is combined with the unreality of the iridescent decoration, obtained thanks to a technique of which Clément Massier is the master: thanks to his chemical works, he stands out as one of the main creators of iridescent ceramics, producing a work of great diversity. Of marine obedience, these iridescents develop here on the belly in red, green and golden tones. These varied nuances due to the baking process make all the value of her unique pieces. The very biomorphic aspect of this cauldron is totally in line with the Art Nouveau movement; prefigured by the Massiers thanks to their dreamlike creations inspired by plant forms. The irregularity and chromatic profusion of this work put it in opposition to the symmetrical productions that predominated in European majolica at the time.
From the end of the 1880s Clément Massier was to produce a distinctive lustre-glazed pottery often combined with specifically Mediterranean elements of design, the best examples of which were executed by the symbolist painter Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer.
The flowerpot is referenced to n°180 (p30-31) of Clément Massier’s catalogue.