This disarming dish was intended as an artwork rather than as a functional object. Here, a carefully articulated frog attacks a helpless snake in a pool of translucent turquoise glaze that suggests water. The use of “lowly” animals as decorative sculptural devices was pioneered in France in the sixteenth century by Bernard Palissy. The late-nineteenth-century influx of Asian pottery with animal decoration seems to have reawakened Palissy’s spirit in Bigot and other French ceramists.
Signature: Marks: inscribed A Hulou, Bigot
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]