Furniture and Antique
Salt-cellar in earthenware from Saint-Porchaire
XVIe century, earthenware, 19 x 9 cm
Ceramic enthusiasts all dream of owning a piece of Saint-Porchaire earthenware. There are hardly more than around thirty in existence, spread throughout the grandest collections around the world. One of them has just gone on sale and was bought for over one million euros, which is hardly surprising given their royal origins and the nickname often given to them: “Henri II ware”. Like in Florence under the Médicis, these ceramics on a white background were intended to imitate Chinese porcelain, reputed and highly valued in the 15th century. French potters hunted for earth that was naturally white, which they found in Saintonge, and then decorated this crockery with moulded and stamped elements, giving them this pronounced relief. The Rothschilds owned several pieces. It is understandable that Edouard André looked to find one. He succeeded thanks to the enterprise of the trader Spitzer, one of the specialists of the period.