French Renaissance Ceramics
The three objects in this tour are examples of "Saint-Porchaire" ware, one of the rarest and most mysterious of all types of Renaissance ceramics.
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Saint-Porchaire is recognized by its richly patterned layer of colorful paste decoration inlaid into a "clay skin"; its assembly from parts made through a variety of techniques such as molding, wheel-throwing, and hand modeling; and its uniform fine white clay that shrinks little in firing.
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Fewer than eighty examples are recorded, and the commonest forms are salt cellars, cups, ewers, and candlesticks, most in distinctive bizarre and fantastic designs. What is known is that a wide variety of techniques was used, the type of clay is found in relatively few places, and these ceramics were probably made by a single workshop.
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