Pair of protome vases, Thomas Victor Sergent, circa 1880
This pair of vases was realized by the famous ceramist Thomas Victor Sergent. The three colors of the lip are strongly inspired by the majolica of Deruta, renowned center of ceramic production in the Renaissance in Italy. It owes its reputation to its large-scale pageantry dishes with lively scenes in the center or portraits and a decorated marli. Inspiration could also be found from the side of the Far Eastern ceramics which was very successful in the 19th century. The mottled pattern is derived from sancai or “three colors”, a technique used on ceramics in China. These colored glazes are placed directly on terracotta or biscuit porcelain and create a random decor dependent on cooking and oxides that form spots and streaks.