Georges Hoentschel, ‘Flared Rim Gourd’, ca. 1890, Jason Jacques Gallery
Georges Hoentschel, ‘Flared Rim Gourd’, ca. 1890, Jason Jacques Gallery
Georges Hoentschel, ‘Flared Rim Gourd’, ca. 1890, Jason Jacques Gallery

This vessel serves as an excellent example of Hoentschel’s own design vision, the influence of Jean Carriès’ work, and a split from the typology of art nouveau. The overall simplicity of this vessel speaks to the influence of Japanese ceramics on French pottery, particularly throughout the late 19th century, the matte and irregular glaze evoking that of the Japanese tea caddies in Hoentschel’s own collection. The uniformity of the shape of this vessel provides a canvas upon which the random potential of glaze as a medium-specific form of decoration is explored as it is applied and allowed to drip in asymmetric flow patterns. Three pronounced bands of color demarcate the neck, shoulders, and belly of this vessel; as a tendril of the white glaze reaches from the neck across the brown waist of the vessel to the green base, it works with the lateral symmetry of the vessel to give it a unity of form.

About Georges Hoentschel

Georges Hoentschel was an interior designer with an elite international following. He engaged sculptor Jean Carriès to create Japonist ceramics for his more advanced clients. Work done by Emile Grittel and others under Hoentschel's name was noted for gold glaze effects and the frequent use of metal mounts. Much of the inspiration was drawn from floral forms. Hoentschel's talent and taste were officially confirmed when he was commissioned to design and oversee the decoration of the pavilion of the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900. [Source: Jason Jacques]

French, 1855-1915