18th Century French Faience Polychrome Ewer with Image of Saint



A French faience pitcher dating from the late 18th century. This pitcher features beautiful polychrome paintings of floral-type decorative accents in deep blue, golden yellow, sage green, and burnt orange. In the center quatrefoil cartouche sits St. John the Baptist. He is identified by his long cross, camel skin coat, and the small lamb that stands by his feet. On the backside of the pitcher is inscribed: “17 – jean – troiont -71” which helps to identify the subject (St. John) and the year the piece was created (1771).


D 9.75 in.x W 6.75 in. at widest point x H 10.25 in.


Excellent. On the bottom rim there is a small where the glaze has separated. This is likely original from the first firing.




Faience is the French answer to delft and maiolica (majolica): it is tin-glazed earthenware that originally sought to imitate Chinese porcelain. However, it soon gained popularity as a ceramic in its own right. Faience was introduced to France in the second half of the sixteenth century by Italian immigrants. The French word “faience” derives from the northern Italian city of Faenza. Faience decoration draws inspiration from multiple sources, including Italian ceramics, Asian porcelain, and even contemporary engravings.

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