Anduze pots originated “it is said”, in 1610 during the reign of Henry IV, in the Cevennes region of France in the small town of Anduze. An Anduze potter in Provence was captivated by the elegance of an Italian Medici vase on his travels. This gave him inspiration to create the general shape for the ANDUZE planter. This craftsmanship and the emergence of using terra cotta spread quickly throughout the reign of Southern France.
During the reign of Louis X1V these pots became even more popular and are seen today throughout France and at the Palace of Versailles where nobility enjoyed their beauty as they filled them with flowering and fruit trees. Typically in France only the noble class could afford these pots. They were used as decorative enjoyment only and served no real purpose but to feast the eye upon.
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Sardine Pots: A Commonality Between Italy & France
The sardine fishery is the most important fishery industry of France. However, the Mediterranean sea board, both of France and Italy is notable for its fisheries.
Sardines are named after Sardinia, the Italian island where large schools of these fish were once found, but it was the emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, who helped to popularize these little fish by initiating the canning of sardines, the first fish ever to be canned, in order to feed his soldiers first and then the citizens of the land over which he presided.
In the painting above Napoleon holds a sardine in his hand to ensure importance of the little fish!
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Palissy Ware / Majolica
‘Palissy Ware’ was launched in great reproduction efforts in 1849 and is a term for ceramics produced in the style of the famous French potter Bernard Palissy (1510-1590), the great French Renaissance potter, who created a style of ceramic art that reproduced three-dimensional still lifes.
Very special Palissy Style Plates are shown below – This particular plate is decorated in relief with a lobster and shells. And another displaying a crab. This originated with the idea that using naturalistic scenes of plants and animals cast from life brought authenticity into the home.
Palissy copied things like the fish, frogs, lizards, & snails arranged onto large platters (wall plates, wall platters, chargers) — He copied floral and fauna found in or near Paris. He patterned the fish after those found in the Seine River and the fossil shells are easily recognized as the tertiary shells of the Paris basin. These pièces rustiques, as Palissy himself called them, were made for decorative purposes only. Palissy was the mother of what is now called Majolica.
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Confit is the French word that means “to preserve”– the mustard and green pots were used for storing cooked meats and then buried in the ground or stored in stone-lined larders. This storage process preserved the cooked meat without refrigeration and could then be enjoyed throughout the winter months. The bottom halves were left unglazed for burying in the ground since the glaze would normally fall off sealed in the ground. Meats, most often duck, goose, or pork, preserved in this method are often considered a delicacy. Confit d’oie is preserved goose and confit de canard is preserved duck. The meat in these dishes is moist and delicate.
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French Glazed Herb Pots —
These little beauties are abundant in France and are used still today to propagate herb seedlings. Once the herbs have grown to full size they can be snipped and the pots then can become vessels to hold the herbs such as lavender or herbs de Provence.
They are the perfect container for the olives and Italian beans on this Charcuterie spread. As well, add sprigs of rosemary for scenting the table.
They are ideal for serving jams and jellies, or a French mustard perhaps. An herb pot with orange marmalade is an unusual and clever way to serve your jelly at morning breakfast.
Fill one with coarse sea salt and place next to the stove. They make great candle holders as well – the perfect votive for a table. They are also great conversation pieces when used in any capacity at mealtime!
At $9 each they are a perfect little gift. These herb pots can be found at Aubergine Antiques in Fairhope, AL.
Au Revoir!! A La Prochaine!!