Pâte-sur-pâte is a French term which means “paste on paste”. It is a method of porcelain decoration in which a relief design is created on an unfired, unglazed body by applying successive layers of white slip (liquid clay) with a brush.
The development of pâte-sur-pâte dates back to 1850 in France, at the Sevres factory. A notable maker was Marc-Louis Solon, who was born in France in 1835, perfected the technique and was for most of his working life the leading exponent of pâte-sur-pâte.
In 1870 Solon fled from France and sought refuge in England, where he established contact with Mintons in Staffordshire. There was a great demand for pâte-sur-pâte and Solon was assigned an English apprentice, Frederick Alfred Rhead. There ensued a golden age of pâte-sur-pâte in Stoke-on-Trent stretching into the early years of the 20th Century.
Another famous artist that worked in this technique was Florence E Barlow. Florence started working for Doulton in 1873, she specialised in painting flowers and birds.
Florence used the so-called sgraffito technique fairly extensively for the first few years, and then branched out in other directions, most notably being the pâte-sur-pâte paintings, which after 1878 is the most characteristic feature of almost all her work in stoneware.
She was particularly successful in producing a sense of light and shade in her pâte-sur-pâte paintings of birds in their natural surroundings. Examples of her work won many awards at the Great Exhibitions.
We have had a number of wonderful pieces in the pâte-sur-pâte technique in previous sales.
February 2017, Lot 826 – A Minton pâte-sur-pâte vase by Albion Birks, late 19th/early 20th Century, decorated with a vignette depicting Venus and Cupid at an archery lesson, with a ribbon hung ivy strewn cluster of arrows, a bow and horn to verso, on a blue ground, gilded to the neck and rim in good condition. Sale Price: £2,700.00.
June 2017, Lot 564 – An unusual Wedgwood vase decorated with bulrushes and reeds in the pâte-sur-pâte design, height 24.5cm. Sale Price: £300.00
June 2017 – Lot 526 – Albion Birks pâte-sur-pâte Decorated Porcelain Plaque of a travelling man standing next to local signpost with cupid with basket of fruit, circa 1890, blue ground with white slip decoration, titled and artist signed, no visible factory mark, 17x 9.5cm in black ebony frame. Sale Price: £920.00.
The following items will be on auction in our November 11th, Antiques, Collectables & Fine Art Sale.
A pair of Minton pâte-sur-pâte vases by Albion Birks, late 19th/early 20th Century, one decorated with a vignette depicting Venus and Cupid at an archery lesson, with a ribbon hung ivy strewn cluster of arrows, a bow and horn to verso, the other depicting winged angel with cupid firing bow with garland and heart & arrows to verso, both on a blue ground, gilded to the neck and rim and in good condition, height 19.5cm without wood bases. (2). Sale Price £3,600.00.
A Minton pâte-sur-pâte two handled vase & cover, late 19th/early 20th Century, decorated with Woman with baskets of fruit surrounded by winged cupids, a ribbon hung ivy strewn cluster of arrows, a bow and horn to verso on a blue ground, gilded to the neck, handles, lid and rim and in good condition, height 24cm without wood base. Sale Price £2,800.00.
A pair of Minton pâte-sur-pâte cabinet plates,19th/20th Century, decorated with three panels of various scenes of Woman with cupids and each panel signed Alboin Birks, raise gilded with retailers mark Davis Collamore & Co of New York, both in good condition, diameter 23cm. (2). Sale Price £800.00.
A Minton pâte-sur-pâte cabinet plate,19th Century, decorated with panels of Woman with cupids and a ribbon hung ivy, gilded to the other two green panels, in good condition, diameter 24cm. Sale Price £650.00.
A Minton Bicentenary pâte-sur-pâte handled dish, decorated with cupids lighting candles, gilded rim, diameter 12cm. Sale Price £90.00.
A Minton early 20th Century pâte-sur-pâte two handled cup & saucer,decorated with various lady portrait panels and raised gilded (2). Sale Price £450.00.
A pair of pâte-sur-pâte rectangular plaques,19th/20th Century, both decorated with classical woman standing with urns and signed L. Salon, 19 x 10cm, in later gilt frames. (2). Sale Price £2,000.00.
Minton pâte-sur-pâte vase by Albion Birks, late 19th/early 20th Century, decorated with a vignette depicting Venus and Cupid at an archery lesson, with a ribbon hung ivy strewn cluster of arrows, a bow and horn to verso on brown ground, height 19.5cm. Sale Price £2,100.00.
French 19th Century porcelain pâte-sur-pâte lamp decorated with Grecian lady with amphora and scrolling foliage to reverse with quality bronze mounts and shade, overall height 71cm.
French 19th Century porcelain pâte-sur-pâte oil lamp decorated both sides with flowers & leaves with brass mounts, overall height to bulb fitment 45cm.
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