Italian Fat Lava Pottery Decanters Made For Garnier - France
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This pair of stoneware decanters with heavy fat lava glazes were made in Italy for Garnier, founded in 1859. Garnier is a famous liqueur maker that specialized in selling their fruit and plant liqueurs in figural decanters. Paul Garnier (1832-1886) founded the company in Paris and, after the company was completely destroyed during the war of 1870, he moved the plant to Enghien-Les-Bains, a suburb of Paris nestled in apricot and cherry orchards.
These two decanters are from their Brocs et Cruches (Pitchers and Jugs) collection. The one on the left in the first photo has a molded and hand painted panel on the front with lions, elephants and a Buddha-like figure. It has an oblong mouth on a narrow neck and a decorated, angular handle. It's model #214, originally filled with crème de cacao. It weighs 2 pounds and measures 11 3/4 inches tall, 5 inches across widest point of bottom and has an oval base 3 1/4 by 2 1/4 inches.
The decanter on the right in that photo is model # 213; in our research, we found that it dates to 1965. The front panel is also molded and hand painted, displaying an Aztec warrior bordered by symbols incised on a strip of dark blue; predominant colors are navy, dark brown and white. The long neck has more symbols on raised lozenges of marbleized white. The thick arched handle has the appearance of a hand on a hip. This decanter weighs 1 1/2 pounds, measures 11 3/4 inches tall, is 5 inches across at the hips and has an oval base 3 by 2 1/4 inches. It was originally filled with crème de menthe. While the other bottle has no cork, the Aztec one has an old broken cork in it---however, both are empty.
The bottom of each has a raised rectangle stamped with: Garnier Liqueurs Enghien-Paris-France Made in Italy and the model number. The lava surfaces are grey and tan and very tactile. Both are in excellent condition, with no chips, cracks or other damage. Display them separately or together--either way, they are reminiscent of the Italian art pottery by Fratelli Fanciullacci and a terrific find.