Inkwell with Sphinx, Thomas Victor Sergent, circa 1870/1880

Sergent’s specialty was large pieces decorated with nearly lifesize crustaceans, although he produced many smaller works as well : vases, tobacco jar, plates, jardinières, cups. He adopted many pieces which were formerly attributed to Bernard Palissy and provided them a kind of strength and power. Sergent impressed many of his pieces “TS”, or painted “Sergent”, “Th Sergent”. But many pieces attributed to him are also unsigned. This inkwell reflects both influences to the French Renaissance and the reign of Louis XVI.