SAMSON & CO. (designers)
An original design for porcelain
[Paris: 1845 or later]. Pen, ink, and watercolour. Good condition apart from some minor foxing, overall light soiling and creasing. Sheet size: 15 7/8 x 15 7/8 inches.
Possibly a design for a porcelain lidded box, this work, which includes detailed instructions for the artist regarding the specific details of the piece, is a rare example of an original watercolour design by the Samson factory of Paris. The abbreviated written directions in the center of the image instruct the artist to include the signature 'VP' and to paint a bird motif on the front of the box, the whole of which is to be painted in Marseille colors.
This finished design was intended as a reference source from which the porcelain painters could work, using the design as a guide for the colours and image to be transformed from paper into fine porcelain. The French porcelain manufactory of Samson & Cie. was established by "Edmé Samson (b. Paris, 1810; d. Paris, 1891) at 7, Rue Vendôme (later Rue Béranger) in Paris. The intention of the firm was to reproduce ceramics from museums and private collections, and it claimed that all such reproductions would be distinctly marked to avoid confusion with the originals. In 1864, the factory was moved to Montreuil by Samson's son, Emile Samson (1837-1913). The range of wares included copies of 18th-century porcelain from such factories as Sèvres, Chelsea, Meissen and Derby, Chinese export-wares, especially armorial wares decorated with famille rose colours and mugs decorated with the Fitzhugh pattern, Delftware, Iznikware, maiolica and faience." (Grove Dictionary of Art).