English, est. 1793
17.8 x 11.8 x 13.2 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Mrs. George H. Sellers Bequest
This late nineteenth-century ornate salt by Minton imitates so-called Henri Deux ware, an earlier Mannerist style common to tin-glazed earthenware produced in the Saint-Porchaire region of France from c.1520–1550, during the reigns of François I (1515–1537)and Henri II (1547–1559). Many pieces of Saint-Porchaire pottery incorporated armorial bearings, and the WAG work continues this tradition, featuring the interlaced crescents of Diane de Poitiers (1499–1566), a noblewoman and favourite mistress of Henri II. The grotesque masks and strapwork—characteristic of sixteenth-century Mannerist design—are also major aesthetic elements. A very successful enterprise, in 1849 the Minton pottery attracted the esteemed French potter Léon Arnoux as its Art Director. A seasoned experimenter, Arnoux brought modern ideas to the firm, including the Henri Deux style.