What is it and What’s it Worth?
Do you have anything that looks like this? If so, check the markings. It could be worth a small fortune! The ewer shown above is a beautiful example of a Massier luster stoneware pottery piece made in Vallauris, France, circa 1900. Massier was famous for their metallic luster pieces, some of which were painted or etched. They also produced a wide variety of Art Nouveau pieces, as well as majolica. Our Worthopedia has more than 1000 Massier pieces listed. Learn more about Massier and take your knowledge of ceramics to the next level.
Clément Massier (1844-1917) was born into a Vallauris, France, family of ceramists that date back before the French Revolution. In his teens, he learned enameling techniques from Gandolfo Gaetano, an employee of the family’s firm. He also worked with his father Jacques (1801-1871). Clément spent the next several years studying, traveling, and working.
Clément, Delphin, and his cousin Jérôme, each of whom owned separate potteries, turned their production interests from utilitarian to artistic pieces in the mid-19th century.
In 1884, Clément moved his portion of the family firm to Golfe-Jauen, Alpes Martime. Individuals who summered in Cannes, Monaco, and Nice, visited his factory-gallery.
Massier hired Lucien Lévy Dhurmer as his artistic director in 1887. Massier and Dhurmer perfected a series of iridescent, metallic glazes using copper and silver oxides. The Hispano-Moresque pottery produced from smoky kilns inspired them. Dhurmer left the firm in 1896. At its peak, Massier’s factory employed 65 workers.
Massier’s turquoise metallic luster ceramics won a gold medal at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universalle. Massier presented 15 of his metallic luster pieces to the Salon of the Society of French Artists in 1898. In 1900, Massier became an official supplier to the British crown.
Cédric Massier continues the family tradition by producing iridescent glazed ceramics at his Vallauris factory.
What to Look For
Vases in a wide variety of shapes were the primary product of Massier’s factory. Other forms included cachepots, lamps, figural sculptures, jardinières with pedestals, and lamps.
Massier’s luster glazes were enriched with etchings and paintings. Designs ranged from hand painted to uniform slip-casting.
Here is an example of Massier’s Art Nouveau style. This ewer, circa 1910, sold for over $1300 in 2002.
Massier was sensitive to popular styles. He offered a wide variety of Art Nouveau shapes and designs.
Collectors also seek pieces produced by Jérôme Massier and majolica by Delphin Massier.
Signed CLEMENT MASSIER Golfe-Juan (A.M.)
Acid etched, script mark: “Clement-Massier / Golfe-Juan A·M”. Can be accompanied by “L. LEVY”.
Incised oval text mark: Arched “CLÉMENT MASSIER” at top, reversed arched “GOLFE-JUAN (A. M.)” at bottom.
Incised oval text mark: Arched “JERÔME MASSIER” AT TOP, reverse arched “VALLAURIS FRANCE” at bottom.
Square with rounded corners inside of which is “JEROME / MASSIER / VALLAURIS”.
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