This intriguing stoneware coupe is made in the form of an elf cup lichen that rises from the leaf-strewn ground to a ruffled rim. A benign snake winds around the foot and base, making his way to the faux water collected in the top. André de Manneville, Parisian sculptor and medalist, designed this example. The sculptor began exhibiting in 1893 and continued until at least 1922. Alexandre Bigot often worked to the designs of well-known artists of the day. The humble subject matter and rustic finish associate this piece with the Japanese tradition.
Signature: Marks: Inscribed 1899
About Alexandre Bigot
Alexandre Bigot, a science teacher working in Alsace, resolved to experiment with pottery after seeing Asian ceramics displayed in Paris in 1889. He exhibited his early work, small simple vases and plates with applied newts, frogs, and snakes, somewhat in the manner of earlier French master Bernard Pallissy, in 1894. That year, Charles Holme (of The Studio, London) remarked on Bigot's exhibit, "the whole of [Bigot's] exhibit was modeled by his own hands," setting Bigot's work apart from not only from those who worked with apprentices but also from Bigot's factory-made products. [Source: Jason Jacques]