This very rare vase was decorated by William Lycett, son of Edward Lycett (Faience Munafacturing Company), who according to Atlee Barber, is considered the 'Pioneer of China Painting in America'. The vase stands a respectable 8.5" high by 7" in diameter. It has a bulbous form, with a generous palette. It is decorated in a busy floral motif, with Roses and leaves. The blossoms are glazed in a rainbow of colors, with very refined whispy accents of white slip, giving the blossoms and leaves a wonderful dimensional quality. This vase is decorated in the style of John Bennett, although distinctly different in its presentation. William Lycett ran his father's studio starting in 1877, while his father taught classes at the St. Louis School of Design, and in Cincinnati (with Maria Longworth Nichols). John Bennett ran a china painting studio in NYC, and joined Edward Lycett in business (1879-1882) before William moved to Atlanta, so it is not unreasonable to assume that William may have been influenced by Bennett's work. Edward Lycett had three sons, all were china painters by profession. This vase is in excellent condition, given its age of more than 135+ years. There is a fine short line at the rim, which we show in the photos. There was a bare spot of surface glaze on a leaf. We show the bare spot photo and the touched up photo in the last two images. This vase is signed by William Lycett and dated 1880 in slip on the base. William Lycett reported set up shop in Atlanta in the mid-1880s. Given the early date of this vessel, we believe it was produced in NYC, before his move to Atlanta. This important vase makes a really beautiful presentation. It should be in a museum!
For history buffs, the Lycett family immigrated to America from Great Britian in 1861, when William was 6 years old. Edward opened a china painting studio upon arrival in the states in NYC. He moved around for a few years, finally resettling in NYC. He operated a shop for a couple of years with John Bennett, another giant in American art pottery. Their partnership dissolved in 1882, although both continued producing pots under their respective names. In 1884 Edward Lycett joined the Faience Manufacturing Company, retiring in 1890, relocating to Atlanta to join his son William's china painting studio there. Our brief summation of the historical importance of the china painting movement in America, with regard to the Lycett family was drawn from a marvelous publication entitled 'In Pursuit of Beauty, Americans And The Aesthetic Movement' by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.C., which tells a wonderful history of the Lycett family and other important china painters in the day. If you are so inclined, it is an awesome read. This book should be in the library of every art pottery enthusiast.
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