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French 1950s Red Ceramic Vase by Accolay

From Dorian Caffot de Fawes

Availability: SOLD

Stock Ref D1900

A large crackled red vase by Accolay, o generous gourd form with open elements, internally glazed in yellow.
Signed Accolay to the underside.
France, Circa 1950
32 cm tall by 25 cm diameter
The History of Accolay Ceramics
1944: Four friends leave Paris and the atmosphere of St Germain-des-Près to escape from obligatory work in Germany.
They came to the professional college of ceramics in Cluny (Seine et Loire) where Alexandre Kostanda taught them the art of Pottery. They started with making ceramic buttons for their own use.
At the end of the year 1945, Christian Dior creates his Maison de couture he contacts André Boutaud and his friends asking them to make buttons for his new collection along with brooches and pieces of jewellery.
The four young apprentices made around 300 pieces.
It could have been a one-off order if the fashion magazines hadn't published Christian Dior's new collection. After the war ceramic buttons became very much a fashion item.

As success comes, they decide to found a community and they settle on the 26th of October 1945 in an old unused factory in the Village of Accolay in the Yonne department of Burgundy.

In the year of 1946, more than 3000 ceramic buttons and jewellery were leaving this factory, multicoloured and extraordinary pieces, in all sorts of shapes and styles: animals, vegetals, gold tinted etc.

In 1948 fashion was changing and they started to make useful ceramics, decorative, ornamental pieces, such as vases, jugs, photo frames, fruit baskets and ceramic sculptures.

A large part of the population of the village of Accolay would work in the studios, and in the sales department.
Shops on the side of the road to the South of France were selling their ceramics creations. They continued to work and grow well into the 1970s, up until the petrol crisis that decreased their success, along the fact that these roads were less & less frequented.
This was the period where one saw the appearance of ceramics incrusted with resin, lamps and tables that lit up.

André Boutaud passed away in 1983, continuation was not so easy and production ended in 1989.
The adventures of these four young students who became 'The Accolay potters' deserve to be remembered for their huge success and the wonderful memories of their 30 glorious years 1945-1975.

As Emmanuel David said : 'The Accolay Potters gave Burgundy a Holiday atmosphere'.
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