Musée d'Orsay: Emile Muller et Compagnie Support for tear-off calendar

Emile Muller et Compagnie
Support for tear-off calendar

Support for tear-off calendar
Emile Muller et Compagnie
Support for tear-off calendar
Enamelled stoneware
H. 29.5; W. 23.5; 1.7 cm thick
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Support de calendrier éphéméride [Support for tear-off calendar]

It is very likely that this piece was not commercially produced, but rather was reproduced by the ceramics factory - la Grande Tuilerie d'Ivry - for publicity reasons. It does not appear in any of the firm's commercial catalogues and does not bear its trademark. On the other hand, this type of object was found in the productions brought out under the direction of Louis Muller, who took over from his father Emile in 1889.

The interest of the calendar lies in the way it re-uses motifs from architectural decorations created by Hector Guimard, and reproduced by Muller. It was in fact Guimard who had designed the stylised pink and yellow thistles found here. They were ornamentation for panels, friezes, and jambs featured in the 1904 Grande Tuilerie catalogue of architectural ceramics.
But these motifs date from before the publication of the catalogue and in 1904 had no connection with the architect's ornamental experiments. They had been created over ten years previously, since they appear in several places, alongside button roses, on the facades of a small, private residence built in 1893, at 41 rue Chardon-Lagache, for Louis-Victor Jassedé, a grocery merchant.

The rigorous stylisation of the motifs, their incisive outlines, the pronounced symmetry of the composition and the brightness of the colours reflect Guimard's work at the beginning of his career, influenced by the English style.

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