Atelier de Breteuil, ‘Japonesque Oni Mask’, circa 1900, Heritage Auctions
Atelier de Breteuil, ‘Japonesque Oni Mask’, circa 1900, Heritage Auctions

Property from the Jason Jacques Collection

Condition Report: Observed under UV light with no evidence of restoration, in good condition.

Signature: Impressed firm's logotype to underside

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

About Atelier de Breteuil

Haunted demons and grotesque goggle-eyed fish were amongst the rare artistic products of Armand Rousseau, owner of the “Société des Grès de Breteuil” (Eure) in Normandy. The pottery firm, originally “Céramique de Breteuil”, owned by Alfred Pillard-Soulain, was acquired by Rousseau and exhibited at the Champ du Mars in Paris in 1894. Through various other exhibitions it obtained four gold medals. Towards the end of the nineteenth century with around 100 laborers on its books, it was also decisive in reviving the economy of the small town. Although Rousseau’s success was largely due to his factory’s output of industrial stoneware ceramics, he turned his hand to a limited output of highly competent art pottery, modeling works in the Japoniste style, so much loved during the belle époque, such as the expressive noh theatre masks that recall the demon Hannya. In 1914-1915, as fighting raged during World War I, Rousseau’s establishment was requisitioned for barracks by the French army. [Source: Jason Jacques]