Item # LFA184
Palissy style majolica spider crab plate. Circa early 1900s. Portuguese trompe-l'oeil platter features a spider crab on a textured and mottled ground of sand, mussels, seaweed and shells. Impressed marks on the reverse.
Bernard Palissy (1510-1590), the great French Renaissance potter, created a style of ceramic art that reproduced three-dimensional still lifes. This pottery, known as palissy ware, is characterized by colorful majolica (tin) glazes and includes high relief surface decoration. It enjoyed widespread popularity in the sixteenth century, and was often imitated during Palissy's lifetime and for many years thereafter. Palissy copied things like the fish, frogs, lizards, floral and fauna found in or near Paris. He patterned the fish after those found in the Seine River and the fossil shells are easily recognized as the tertiary shells of the Paris basin. These pièces rustiques, as Palissy himself called them, were made for decorative purposes only. Nearly 250 years after Palissy's death, Charles-Jean Avisseau, also a French ceramist, rediscovered the lost secrets of Palissy which energized a revivalist movement in France and the Portuguese town of Caldas da Rainha that would last until the beginning of the twentieth century. Extensive collections of palissy ware can be found in the Louvre and the Musée de Cluny in Paris.
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