Rare 19th Century French Terracotta Walnut Oil Jug with Orange Glaze
A superb 19th century French terracotta walnut oil jug or melard having great sculptural form and artisan quality, handmade from the brick red earth from the plains of Limagne by a talented potter of Puy-de-Dôme in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, circa early 1800s. This large glazed earthenware jug with its round shaped belly, two high arching looped handles, pouring spout, and a collar around the mouth and vertical strips formed by the potter pressing into the clay with his fingertips and imprinting curves and lines as he pleased, features a beautiful orangish glaze obtained by subtle mixtures of iron oxides and vegetable decoctions. A rare and beautiful decorative piece, this classic French walnut oil jug is highly collectible because of its colorful and hard to find orangish glaze and will be a fabulous addition to any pottery collection, adding a delightful touch of French Country charm wherever it's placed.
During the 18th century, the main source of energy to light everything from castles to cathedrals and humble homes to lights on the streets, was walnut oil. It was used to fuel lamps, hence the importance of oil jug storage capacity. Provincial potters would compete against one another for technical talent, originality, and trademark in the production of these practical yet decorative utilitarian jugs that were an indispensable utensil in each household to store walnut oil for household lighting. From the mid-19th century, due to the import of lighting fuel and the discovery of tin, tin and zinc pitchers replaced the clay jugs, which fell into disuse. These obsolete jugs were rediscovered after the Second World War and have since become a part of France's cultural heritage and a testimony to a craft that has died out.
h - 15"
diameter - 12"
bottom - "
mouth - "
TAGS: Rare 19th Century French Terracotta Walnut Oil Jug with Orange Glaze, Antique French Glazed Terracotta Walnut Oil Jug, French Walnut Oil Jug, Antique French Walnut Oil Jug, French Pottery, French Earthenware, Utilitarian, Accessories, Kitchen