Likely many of history’s worthwhile artistic developments, the pâte-sur-pâte method of porcelain decoration came about purely by accident. A French term meaning, “paste on paste,” it was developed in 1850 at France’s Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres. The company was trying to reproduce a decorative technique from a Chinese vase, got it wrong, and suddenly, pâte-sur-pâte was born.
Marc-Louis Solon (pictured below) perfected the technique, and was for most of his working life its leading exponent. A talented artist who worked for Sevres, he fled his native land in 1870 due to the Franco-Prussian War, and set up shop across the Channel in Stoke-on-Trent, where he lived out the remainder of his days.
Those looking to snare one of Solons prized creations should circle January 27 in the calendar, when Leslie Hindman Auctioneers holds Day 2 of their Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts sale. Lot 528, a Minton pâte-sur-pâte vase by Solon, is a fine example of the artist’s skill, and is a piece sure to be in great demand.
Solon did a lot of his finest work under the Milton umbrella, and it was from their factory that the golden era of pâte-sur-pâte emanated. The Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts sale contains two other sought-after lots featuring Minton pâte-sur-pâte decoration:
Lot 478 - a Chinese export rose medallion porcelain punch bowl
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts sale runs over the two days of Tuesday, January 26, and Wednesday, January 27, and includes porcelain, silver and enamel works from the collection of Missouris Rost family among its 890 odd lots. Look now at the full catalog.