Joseph-Théodore Deck


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(b Guebwiller, Alsace, 1823; d ?Paris, 1891). French potter. In 1856 he established a workshop in Paris, where he experimented with glazes, eventually creating his much-admired bleu de Deck (1861). He produced lustre and polychrome painted, tin-enamelled wares based on Isnik and Persian ceramics and Italian maiolica. He also made ‘inlaid’ pottery in the style of 16th-century wares from Saint-Porchaire. His reputation as the first ‘modern’ studio potter rests on the range and quality of his technical innovations and his successful use of historical methods. Many early pieces from his workshop (e.g. dish painted by Eléonore Escallier, c. 1867; Paris, Mus. A. Déc.) were painted by such other artists as Albert Anker (1831-1910), Félix Bracquemond and Eléonore Escallier (1827-88). During the 1870s he became a pioneer of Japonisme and began experimenting with reduced copper glazes on porcelain, developing flambé glazes similar to Chinese glazes used during the period of the Qianlong emperor (reg 1736-96). Deck was appointed administrator (1887-91) at the porcelain factory of Sèvres, where he introduced a new type of glassy, soft-paste porcelain suitable for making reproductions of the factory's 18th-century styles. Under his direction Sèvres extended its production to include porcelain with rich, monochrome glazes (e.g. faceted urn vase, 1883; Paris, Mus. A. Déc.).

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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