This is an amusing piece from the famous Sarreguemines manufacture of figural pitchers. It was part of a lifetime French and Belgian majolica collection which we purchased in France.
Two faces are found in this pitcher; a smiling one when it is upright and a perturbed one when it is upside down. The words on the bottom read, " Tu ris quand tu es plein--quand tu es vide je te plains" : "you laugh when you are full, when you are empty I complain to you". The faces are interesting in that they share the same mouth which totally transforms at the opposite angel.
The faience piece is richly colored. The flesh tone is a rich tan, the turquoise interior and bottom accent a bright hue. The royal blue mouth of the pitcher forms the hat. Th man's hair is a warm chestnut; the handle is in the form of a ponytail tied with a crimson ribbon. At the bottom of the piece the model numbers and the Sarreguemines mark are found.
The pitcher is in good condition. There is age crazing to the glaze typical with age (inside and out). The base of the piece has two chips to the base pottery: these do not effect the stability of the pitcher when sitting. Otherwise no other noted chips detected. It measures: 8 1/2" tall, 8" wide tip of mouth to handle and 4" in diameter at the base.
This is a wonderful centerpiece for a fine majolica/barbotine collection or a charming addition to a figural display.
French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Gilded Figural Bronze Accessories, Majolica, Engravings, Chocolate Molds