Ewer & basin

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed and manufactured by Fannière Frères (fl. 1839-1900)


  • Exhibited

    Paris, Exposition l’Universelle, 1878

  • Collection

    Musée d’Orsay, Paris

  • Literature

    “Causerie: les Fannière”, Les Chefs-d’oeuvre d’art a I’Exposition Universelle 1878, Paris,

    1878, II, pp. 121-3 (illustrated).

  • Notes

    Francois-Auguste Fannière (1818-1900) and his brother Francois-Joseph-Louis (1820-97) enjoyed a high reputation among their peers. They were recognised as outstanding designers, sculptors, chasers and manufacturers. The brothers worked for several of the leading Parisian firms including Odiot, Froment-Meurice and Christofle. It was not until 1862 that they exhibited under their own name.

    It would appear that the eclectic design of the ewer and basin, derived from Mannerist, Islamic and oriental sources, was the responsibility of Francois-Auguste; the chasing was probably executed by his brother.

    Among the few known examples of work by Fannière Freres is the elongated beer jug with naturalistic hop-vine decoration, now in the collection of the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. It is similar to one acquired by Napoleon III from the Paris Union Centrale exhibition held in 1865. A closely related “service a bière” comprising a tray, a jug and two beakers, is in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Arguably the firm’s most remarkable achievement, also to be seen in Paris, is the nef presented by the Empress Eugenie to commemorate the inauguration of the Suez Canal (see Chefs-d’oeuvre du Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, 1985, pp.1 38-9).