ref. 890

T. Deck


Pair of Orientalist lamps

Signed ThD on porcelain and Gagneau on the bronze mounts

Circa 1875

Earthenware, Gilded bronze

Height : 73 cm (28,7 in.) ; Diameter : 17 cm (6,7 in.)

A very fine pair of « blue Deck » earthenware lamps, adorned with a Persan decor. Mounted within pierced gilt-bronze bases.


The renowned ceramist Théodore Deck, born in Guebwiller in 1823, made his apprenticeship in the Hügelin earthenware factory in Strasbourg. After a European tour of initiation he arrived in Paris in 1847. He made his first public appearance in 1861 at the Parisian Arts and Industry Salon where he won a silver medal for the works he exhibited. His reputation thus assured, Deck became profoundly influenced by the Japanese style, which was very fashionable at the time. He adopted the naturalistic oriental motifs with great precision. Emile Reiber (1826-1893) chief designer for Christofle, also made sketches for Deck. The fame he merited through long hours of work was assured by his success at Universal Exhibitions in which he participated: Vienna in 1873 where all his rivals were left far behind; Paris in 1878 where he won the Grand Prize for his portraits on gold backgrounds. Showered with praise by the critics at the Central Union of Decorative Arts Exhibition in 1874, the “Gazette des Beaux Arts” (Paris,1874, vol. XXXV, p. 310) reported that « Mr. Deck, master of masters is the greatest glory of French ceramics ». His life was devoted to the amelioration of earthenware technology by a succession of achievements. He thus improved the rending of colours, one of which, a new turquoise blue, became known as « Bleu de Deck ». Theodore Deck had talent and he knew it. He did not keep it to himself however, but shared it with others and helped to promote young artists who lacked means. He thus became an example for the renaissance of ceramic art during the second half of the 19th Century. All his techniques were made public and circulated in a book on earthenware. His Genius recognized and promoted to the grade of “Officier de la Légion d’honneur” he was nominated director of the Sèvres Porcelain Factory in 1887.

Gagneau, a famous lighting manufacture established in Paris, participated in many exhibitions, such the Industry Products expositions since 1819, and received numerous awards throughout the nineteenth Century. Appreciated by his contemporary fellows, G. Gagneau became part of the jury, in the category of art bronzes (Class 25) at the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition.

Deck’s works in connection

Orsay Museum, Paris (Inv. O.A.O. 993) : Earthenware cup, with a blue monochrom decor, about 1870.

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