This circa 1890 hand painted earthenware pitcher was made in France by the workshop of highly regarded artist Emilé Galle. The piece has been finished in a rich brown glaze with gold lustre highlights. One side of the pitcher bears a hand painted tavern scene featuring the image of a man seated on a piece of wood. The man is attired in rural clothing and has been depicted smoking a long clay pipe.
The pitcher has a round pedestal foot and a flattened ovoid body with a shape similar to a moon flask. The pitcher is topped by a flared neck with straight walls and has an applied strap handle at one side. The rim itself is finished with a large pouring spout.
The pitcher is presented as found with appropriate signs of age consisting of chips to the rim along with chips to the foot rim. The painted image on the front has scratches in addition to some glaze anomalies which include glaze pops and associated flaking/paint loss, best seen in photo 3. The remainder of the pitcher also has production related glaze anomalies and some scratching. These condition issues are mentioned for accuracy and as seen in the accompanying photographs, the pitcher displays very well. The underside of the piece bears a relief molded mark which includes the shape of the pitcher and reads "Emilé Galle Nancy Déposé" in script along with the initials "EG" and the Cross of Lorraine.
The 8.5" tall pitcher is 7" at its widest point and 4.25" deep. The foot is 3.5" in diameter and is mouth is 3.25" across. The piece weighs in at 1lb 15oz.
This unusual hand painted earthenware pitcher would be a great addition to a collection of pieces by Galle, or to a grouping of fine French Art Nouveau ceramics. A lovely antique find!