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  • Antiquités Rodriguez





Terra cotta

19th century

Circa 1880

H. 108 –W. 70 – D. 52 cm.

The design of our vases epitomizes the fantastical asymmetric Rococo spirit. Indeed, the stylistic movement known as Rococo, which began in 18th century France, has infused design objects with a sinuous, organic, and sensuous impulse for three centuries. Rococo motifs, initially based on the shell, from which characteristic scrolling of C- and S-curve designs developed, were widely circulated in ornamental prints. In its original manifestation, Rococo dominated French design from 1730-1765, during the reign of Louis XV. The king and his mistress Madame de Pompadour endorsed the Rococo spirit, as it reflected their predilection for an intimate lifestyle and their love of extravagance. Rococo turned away from the contraints of classicism's geometry toward nature for models, celebrating the tactile as well as the visual, the fantastical over the intellectual. Designers competed to produce highly original, eccentric, and exotic designs in silver, refined woods, textiles and ceramics, all of which appealed to the senses and emotions. Rococo design ideas, transmitted by decorative-arts prints, objects, and the traveling designers themselves, quickly spread to England, the Netherlands, the German states, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and America.

The Rococo impulse went underground during the late eighteenth and early 19th centuries, when Neoclassicism prevailed, then resurfaced in England under the flamboyant Prince Regent, later George IV, and in France during the Second Empire (1852-1870). Our pair of "pots à feu" is highly significant of this artistic trend, illustrating the enthusiasm for both developped and bold shapes. Rococo's most significant later interpretation occurred internationally from about 1880 to 1915, when designers found inspiration in the natural flow of the Rococo aesthetic for a new design concept known as Art Nouveau. While the austere geometry of modernism governed much of design thinking during the 20th century, designers continually returned to organic, natural curves as a source of inspiration in the 1930s, 1950s, and the psychedelic 1960s. More recently, the Rococo spirit has burst forth once again as a creative force.

Through the past 300 years, the generative influences behind Rococo and its revivals appear to be similar. Rococo erupts in reaction to periods of severe constraint and thrives in times of burgeoning economic prosperity. Rococo objects speak to human desires that go beyond simple necessity and many are works of extreme craftsmanship. They tap into the sensuous, pleasure-seeking aspects of design when designers and their patrons seek creative freedom and fantasy. Finally, Rococo reflects increased respect for the feminine, with objects referencing the female form and places the exuberant movement within the historic continuum, bringing together an unprecedented collection of designers and objects of different eras to celebrate the joyful and liberating spirit of Rococo.


1.“Rococo Designs” by Franz Xavier Habermann for Potsdam Castle, 1735.

2. Design for the Decoration of the Window Door Wall of a Rococo Room with a Coved Ceiling and Coved Central Fanlight (Section), par Thomas Lightoler (Britannique, actif entre 1742 et 1775), lavis et gravure.

3. Livre Nouveau de Douze Morceaux de Fantaisie, by Jacques de Lajoue, Jean-Baptiste Antoine Guélard, Simon François Ravenet, Charles Nicolas Cochin, circa 1730.

4. Surtout de table and two sides of one of the two terrines for Le Duc de Kingston, 1735, by Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier. Black stone, heightened with white, on blue paper. 30 x 63 cm; Paris, BnF, Department of Prints and Photography, RESERVE B-11 (A)-FT 4.



  • John Harris, Catalogue of British Drawings for Architecture, Decoration, Sculpture and Landscape Gardening 1550-1900 in American Collection.

  • “Seeing Metamorphosis in Sculpture and the Decorative Arts.” Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2009

  • Anthologie des arts décoratifs : Régence-Louis XV: Symétrie et asymétrie, proportions légères et courbes capricieuses. Architecture, décoration et ameublement pendant le dix-huitième siècle, Léon Roger-Milès, édité par Edouard Rouveyre, 1899.

  • English Country Houses, Christopher Hussey, ed. Country Life, 1955.

  • De Paris à Versailles, 1699-1736: les sculpteurs ornemanistes parisiens et l’art décoratif des bâtiments du roi.

  • Description sommaire des statues, figures, bustes, vases et autres morceaux de sculpture, tant en marbre qu’en bronze & des modèles en terre cuite, porcelaines et fayences d’Urbin, provenans du cabinet de feu M. Crozat dont la vente se fera le 14 décembre 1750 & jours suivans, en l’Hôtel où est décédé M. Le Marquis du Châtel, rue de Richelieu, par Jean-Pierre Mariette ; source Bibliothèque de l’Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA).

Antiquités Rodriguez Décoration

Artistic Director: Roxane Rodriguez

Coordinator: Déborah Lalaudière

Photography: Matt Stark

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