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Antique French Japonisme Pitcher

Antique French Japonisme Pitcher

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This magnificent Antique French Pitcher was found on our most recent trip to the antique markets of Paris. Dating from the late 1800s, this exquisite, hand enameled pitcher is a lovely example of the European fascination with an Orientalist aesthetic, in particular Japonisme. With amazing detail, the pitcher depicts a pair of richly colored exotic birds perched on flowering branches with pagoda-type structures in the background. Trailing flowers and a bright yellow butterfly add to the organic, unstructured quality of the design.

A wonder to behold, the pitcher's vibrant, built-up colors are hand applied enamels that were fired on to the piece one color at a time, giving it a rich, dimensional quality. Truly unique, this pitcher is sure to take pride of place in your home sharing its storied and dreamy aesthetic still today. 


Strictly one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. In very good antique condition. Measures 6.5" x 8.5"H. 

Learn More About Japonisme

"In the second half of the 19th century, the greatest vogue for Asian aesthetics focused on Japan, which had been forcibly opened to foreigners in 1853 by the United States. In Paris, Japan’s participation in the International Exposition of 1867 triggered a fashion frenzy for Japonisme, paving the way for more than 150 years of French fascination for this archipelago across the world. This was the first time that Japan presented a pavilion at the fair and the crowds of visitors were awestruck by its artworks, spreading the craving for Japanese products beyond what had, up until then, been only a limited circle of interested elites.

The end of the 19th century saw the taste for Asian aesthetics in art becoming more widespread by virtue of Japonism, which found particularly fertile ground in painting. The young Impressionist guard discovered Japanese prints, challenging the tenets of Western fine art. A trend that was also spreading in the decorative arts, foreshadowing the imminent arrival of Art Nouveau. The first glimmer of the 20th century was on the horizon."

Article on Japonisme adapted from "The History of Chinoiseries in France, Part 3" by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

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