|Aesthetic Period Transferware|
A boldly drawn leaping fish extends across the empty white surface of this soup plat...
A boldly drawn leaping fish extends across the empty white surface of this soup plate, balanced only by diminutive images of a butterfly and curious shelled creature. The only other adornment is a traditional brush stroke treatment at the edge.
The soup plate comes from the famous "Service Rousseau," designed by Felix Bracquemond in 1866 and recognized now as the first significant expression of Japanism in European ceramic arts. Braquemond derived the floating image composition from the printed sketchbooks, the Manga, of Hokusai and derived many of the images from Hokusai and other Japanese masters. One of Bracquemond's production prints, preserved at the College of Wooster, contains the shrimp and shell along with many other images arranged in the manner of the original Manga pages (illustrated Weisberg, Ed. Japonisme: Japanese Influence on French Art, 1975, p. 33.)
The influence of the pattern began with its success at the 1867 Paris exposition and subsequent inclusion in the South Kensington Museum in London (now the V&A). Its influence on English patterns was multi-faceted; its clearest English descendent is Minton's wonderful "Naturalist" pattern.
The pattern's name derives from Francois Eugene Rousseau, Parisian shop keeper and designer of art glass, who commissioned the service from Bracquemond and sold it in his Paris shop.
|Mark:||Retailer's mark: "Maisons Toy et Leveille Reunies"|
|Dimensions:||Diameter 9 3/4 in.; depth 1 1/2 in.|
With so much of the history of the Service Rousseau tied in with luxury retailing in Paris...
With so much of the history of the Service Rousseau tied in with luxury retailing in Paris, it is no surprise the we can date stages of production from the retailer's marks. Ernest-Baptiste Leveille was a protégé of Rousseau who acquired the latter's shop in 1885. In 1902 he merged with an existing merchant to form Maisons Toy et Leveille Reunies at Number 10 Rue de la Paix. The alliance ended shortly before Leveille's death in 1913.