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French Antique Faience Asparagus Plate

Item number: 5537

This beautiful antique French faience plate was handmade by The Faiencerie d'Art in Angoulême, a city in southwest France. Founded in 1896 by former hairdresser Alfred Renoleau (1854-1930), the faiencerie produced hand painted earthenware, including Palissy-style nature pieces. The single green and yellow spear of asparagus molded on this plate is an echo of that decor. We have included a black and white photo of Renoleau's atelier circa 1910 and a photo of the cover of a book* about the artist, with a similar plate pictured on it.

This plate, made of terracotta, has traditional leafy floral designs in green, golden yellow and blue against the baked white enamel. A mythical bird, an ever-popular French faience decoration, is perched above the asparagus spear with a flying insect to its right. The scalloped rim is enameled in cobalt, with an inner line of amber edged with cobalt that follows the shape of the rim.

The reverse is also coated with the white enamel, except for the dry foot ring, and it is signed in the center in black script "Faïencerie d'Art d'Angoulême Le Renoleau." The plate measures 9 1/2 inches across, 1 1/8 inches high and weighs 1 pound exactly. There is no damage of any kind; the plate appears to have been stored away since it was created between in the 1920's. Just lovely...

* Reference: Alfred Renoleau Céramiste Charentais by Yvette Renaud, 2004; Chapter "The Faiencerie d'Art of Angoulême (1896 - 1930)," pp. 127-221.

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PYH 5537