This very impressive Faience Manufacturing Company (FMC) vessel stands 8.25" high by 5.5" in diameter. It has a stout form, with a wide opening. Best of all, it is faience-decorated in a hand-painted scene all around the vessel in beautifully complementary glaze colors. The scene reveals a snowy landscape with several cabin-like structures amidst snow-laden pine trees. It looks like a Maine retreat in winter, a very handsome hand-painted faience earthenware vase. There are glaze-painted initials by the artist, as shown in our close up photos, which appear to read 'C.G.' or perhaps 'G.G.'. FMC (1881-1892) is well-known for their French barbotine-style wares, with elaborate three-dimensional blossoms and leaves. While the glaze is faience in nature, the presentation is more of a Limoges-style decoration of the 1870s. Edward Lycett joined FMC in 1884, and changed the entire look of the wares produced, so we suspect this vessel was produced in the very early 1880s. It is marked 'FMC' on the base, along with a shape number that reads '255' to our eye. We have had this form as lamps in the barbotine style, with a factory-made hole in the base center. This vase has an old, but very good restoration to the base, which appears to be dead center, and likely was originally intended as a lamp. This vase is a one-of-a-kind scenic, and a very rare find. It's presentation speaks for itself. It would serve as a wonderful complement to any pottery collection, particularly as an early vessel for the United States, from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY.
See more about FMC below, courtesy of the Cooper Hewitt Museum site:
The Faience Manufacturing Company was founded in February of 1881 by Bernard Veit, a millinery goods manufacturer and importer, Joseph Offenbach, an exchange broker, Joseph Baruch, Veit’s son-in-law and a former glove manufacturer, and Veit’s sons, Felix and Morris. In their early years the company produced white-bodied earthenware vases, baskets, and jardinières inspired by French faience ceramics, from which the company took their name, and Limoges wares. Production was characterized by hand-molded flowers, painted decoration, and majolica glazes. These wares were at first sold in Veit and Nelson’s showrooms in lower Manhattan. In 1884, Edward Lycett joined as artistic director and introduced new formulas for clay bodies and glazes as well as the use of interchangeable parts and the practice of decorating the same forms with varying designs to increase consumer choice. Lycett dramatically altered the artistic direction of the company. His interest in exotic and historical shapes and designs revitalized the company’s production and responded to rising consumer taste for far and near eastern aesthetics. He supervised about twenty five artisans and at the factory and offered classes in china decoration, a continuation of a tradition that began in the 1860s in his Greene Street studio in downtown New York. New York Faience Company wares were retailed at major arts goods establishments across the country including Tiffany & Company in New York. In 1886, the company began advertising wares in trade publications oriented towards jewelry and fancy goods wholesalers, as well as periodicals aimed at elite consumers. While these art wares earned critical acclaim, they were expensive to produce and ultimately lead to the downfall of the company. In 1890 the firm reorganized as an agent for a French porcelain manufacturer and two years later ceased production all together.
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