Glazed in an unusual color palette for Dalpayrat works of this period, the Black Gourd features a background of black striated with lines of bright sapphire and muted gold. The most immediately interesting aspect of the vase is its odd silhouette – the vase flares out widely from its base, then narrows inward before flaring out once more, and then gradually narrowing to form the neck. This gourd shape is emphasized by changes in color; the black and blue of the lower half gives way to gold striping that concentrates at the neck. Areas of slight indentation also run in vertical stripes. These undulations combined with variations in color gives the Black Gourd vase an exceptionally tactile quality.
About Pierre Adrien Dalpayrat
Adrien Dalpayrat began his career as a faïence painter, working at six manufactories between 1867 and 1888 before settling near Paris in 1889. There he devoted himself to stoneware, a material then held in high esteem by French art potters. Working alone and with collaborators, Dalpayrat produced a vast range of shapes and decorations. He was so well known for his oxblood flambé pottery that the term "Dalpayrat red" was coined to designate his distinctive glaze. Perfected in 1892, it is dappled or veined with greens, blues and yellows, and appears on pieces in the form of gourds, fruits, and shapes derived from Japanese bottles. [Source: Jason Jacques]