|Aesthetic Period Transferware|
Hunched forward. cutting through ripples, clearly in motion, a handsomely colored duck mov...
Hunched forward. cutting through ripples, clearly in motion, a handsomely colored duck moves across the lower half of this dinner plate from the justly famous French "Service Rousseau." Small images of an insect and a curious water creature also appear, but the effect is one of floating elements on an open empty ground. The edge is trimmed with a traditional feather treatment in blue enamel.
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. Bracquemond scholar J. P. Bouillon has pointed out this duck's similarity to Asian images from a design source book published in 1859 (Bouillon, Felix Bracquemond et les Arts Decoratifs, 2005).
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.