Masterpieces of French Faience
Selections from the Sidney R. Knafel Collection
Charlotte Vignon With Sidney R. Knafel
The Frick Collection, New York in association with D Giles Limited London
This is a great introduction to the world of French faience up to the mid-18th century. Faience, whose name is derived from the Italian city of Faenza, was first made in France in the mid-16th century by Italian immigrants skilled in the manufacture of maiolica. What the examples, from what is probably the best collection of French faience in private ownership, clearly reveal is the quality of design and decoration which was derived from a variety of sources, including oriental porcelain, prints and silver. By the mid-18th century European ceramics were becoming an additional inspiration for form and decoration.
French porcelain production centred on the King and court circles at Versailles and Paris so faience was the preferred choice for the local aristocracy and merchants around the country. This book introduces us to important centres of production such as Rouen, Moustiers and Marseilles. All in all this is a very enjoyable and useful tome.