|Molded Stoneware, Basalt & Parian|
Mayer looks to a popular romance set in a faraway tropical isle for the subject of this de...
Mayer looks to a popular romance set in a faraway tropical isle for the subject of this detailed parian jug. The hero and heroine are depicted as children and as adults, their devotion suggested by the intimacy of their poses. Equally dominant in the design is the lush palm foliage that establishes the narrative's setting. The palm tree handle even boasts a coconut or two.
The bright blue ground of this example effectively conveys the intense hue of a southern sky; the orange peel texture of the ground enhances the sense of detail.
Like many molded jugs, this example was fitted with a hinged lid of "Britannia Metal," a period alloy similar to pewter. More unusual is the attractive blossom that forms the thumb rest on this lid.
|Dimensions:||Height 8 1/4 in.; width 5 in.; diameter at hip 4 1/2 in.|
|Condition:||Fine; slight nick or firing bubble in the hem of the adult Virginia's garment
The narrative illustrated is based on the 1787 French novel Paul et Virginie by Bern...
The narrative illustrated is based on the 1787 French novel Paul et Virginie by Bernadine de Saint-Pierre. The tale centers around two fatherless children raised on the remote Isle of France away from civilization. As they mature, the two fall in love but are separated when a distant aunt summons Virginie to Paris. Unable to adapt, she returns only to be shipwrecked and drowned within sight of Paul -- who later dies of grief.
William Rose Benet in The Reader's Encyclopedia sums up the tale perfectly when he describes it as "the nostalgic evocation of a lost paradise."