Snake vase – Manufacture Minton, Stoke-on-Trent
This turquoise vase with snake handles is one of Minton’s first attempts to rival the works of Della Robia and especially Bernard Palissy. These two essential references in the field of ceramics can be explained by the return to the styles of the past and by the increasingly marked taste for the Renaissance. The influence of Della Robia’s art is perceptible in the treatment of the coloured glaze, while Palissy’s mark is to be found in the choice of decorative vocabulary: two snakes in relief. The reptiles are associated with a discreet interlacing decoration that develops in a band on the belly and collar. Made by the Minton factory in England from a model by the German architect Gottfried Semper, this basin appears to be an exceptional piece particularly appreciated for its decorative qualities. Far from the overload of the ceramists of the School of Tours or Paris, the pieces from Minton are distinguished by their simplicity and the brilliance of their coloured glazes.