For collectors of antique French faience looking for musician decor, bagpipe ('biniou') form or armorial crests, this Henriot Quimper vase is a stunning addition. Two finely rendered Breton musicians play their pipes, framed by generous sprays of yellow 'ajonc' and pink 'bruyere'. On the reverse side, the armorial crest of Brittany features seven ermine marks with a crown and stylized floral embellishments. Blue on blue 'decor riche' frames one side. On the other side, the handle is formed as a pink, yellow and orange bow with a single ermine symbol, descending to a joined pair of decorated pipes. The shorter pipe has indentations for six finger holes. The musicians are clad in traditional billowing pants ('bragoubraz'), blue gaiters, orange clogs, blue vests finely trimmed with orange and yellow ribbon, sharp white shirt collars and wide-brimmed mauve hats with yellow ribbons.
A variety of Quimper molds were made in the bagpipe form and this piece stands out for its delicate colouring, soft pale blue-grey glaze and the fine detail of its rendering, all reminiscent of Alfred Beau's earlier work for the Porquier factory. It is signed 'HR Quimper' on front-right and on the base, dating it to the period 1895-1922. Comparative pieces in Anne Marie O'Neill's book, 'Popular Quimper' are dated c.1910.
Condition is outstanding for 100 year-old piece of faience. No chips, cracks or hairlines. Glaze is pitted in places, typical of the time of manufacture. Exterior shows slight signs of wear at edges. Interior is clean. Measures 8.25"H: 6"W.