This monumental majolica jardinière by Minton represents the artistic heights of this highly important British firm. The design, which features two mermaids supporting a scallop shell, was used by Minton to represent their creations in majolica at nearly all of the important international exhibitions of the late 19th century, including South Kensington in 1871, Vienna in 1873, Philadelphia in 1876 and at the Imperial Institute in London in 1894. The form is attributed to the celebrated French sculptor Albert E. Carrier-Belleuse, and it was also made in a smaller version as a table centerpiece. A true masterpiece from this British firm, the jardinière fully displays the vigorous modeling and vibrant lead glaze that makes Minton's majolica so beloved.
One of the best-known pottery firms ever to operate, Minton was almost wholly responsible for the creation and development of Victorian majolica. Led by three generations of the Minton family, the company consistently produced excellent pottery in a variety of designs. The natural world was a tremendous source of inspiration, and Minton majolica featuring animal and floral motifs were especially prized. Minton's innovative and often imitated style was a result in large part of the work of Joseph Léon Francois Arnoux, Minton's chemist and art director from 1848 to 1892. Arnoux developed majolica for Minton in 1849, seeking to emulate the work of the famed 16th-century French Renaissance potter Bernard Palissy.
Stamped "Minton / 1301"
39 1/2" wide x 12 5/8" deep x 24" high
References:The Masterpieces of the Centennial International Exhibition
, 1876, by W. Smith, p. 182 (illustrated)Minton: The First Two Hundred Years of Design & Production
, Shrewsbury, 1993, by J. Jones, p. 155 (illustrated)Click here to view a video of this item.