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S. Garnier for Alexandre Bigot

Glazed Stoneware Fireplace

France, circa 1900



Medium: Glazed stoneware

Dimensions: 41 in high x 46.5 in wide x 12.25 in deep

Antique monobloc Art Nouveau style enameled stoneware mantel decorated with salamanders and stylized flowers, circa 1900.

Alexandre Bigot (1862-1927) created the company Bigot, a ceramic manufacturing plant specializing in flamed stoneware in Mer (Loir et Cher) in 1889. In 1897, he created Company A. Bigot et Cie, which had 10 furnaces and employed up to 150 workers. He specialized in flamed sandstone, most often used for building facades.

A Doctor of Science, a professor of physics and chemistry in prestigious schools (including the Ecole des Mines), he produced various decorative stoneware pottery covered with the enamels created from his research. Its production is made up of unique pieces but also series models, some of which were clearly influenced by the proximity of the Château de Chambord, built at the initiative of François 1er. Its emblem, the salamander, is included in the Bigot catalogue. Alexandre Bigot worked with the greatest sculptors and architects of his time: Henri Sauvage for the Villa Majorelle in Nancy, Frantz Jourdain (La Samaritaine in Paris), Hector Guimard (Catel Béranger in Paris).

At the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition, he won the Grand Prix for his ceramic animal frieze, based on drawings by animal sculptor Pierre-Paul Jouve, to decorate René Binet's monumental gate on the Place de la Concorde. Its workshops closed during the war in 1914.

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