Thursday, June 24, 2021

Decorating With French Anduze Planters

The small Provincial town of Anduze, for which our planter gets it's name, is located in Cevennes region of the southern part of France. Potters worked in the area in the 15th century, but it wasn't until the close of the 16th century that the first Anduze planter appeared. According to legend a Cévenol potter, while visiting the Beaucaire fair just south of Avignon, was inspired by the elegant sample of Italian Medici style pottery that a vendor exhibited. This inspiration led the Frenchman to create his own take on the style and his Anduze planter stepped into the realm of the iconic.

The Anduze planter is stout and circular with a thick rim, embellished with garlands and stamped family crests representing the potter. During the reign of Louis X1V these pots became even more popular at the Palace of Versailles where nobility enjoyed their beauty as they filled them with flowering and fruit trees. Today Anduze planters are seen throughout France and their popularity extends around the globe.

If you desire for your landscape to be reminiscent of the French countryside be prepared to pay handsomely for these Anduze planters. However, there are some reasonable reproductions out there. Maybe you just like looking at that case enjoy the eye candy!

I simply adore Anduze pots! These classic French containers are icons of Mediterranean French gardens. 

Thought of worldwide as French gardens "ornaments", Anduze planters are steeped in history.

Dominique Lafourcade

Well known since the 17th century throughout Provence, the French have been decorating their homes and chateaus with Anduze pots since they were first made in the charming little town of Anduze.

It is hard to imagine the maisons of Provence without the presence of Anduze pots.

These planters will make any garden or patio look graceful and refined.

Unlike the popular jarres de Biot which were used to store flour and preserve and transport olives, Anduze planters were used as decorative enjoyment only and served no real purpose but as eye candy.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Anduze pots were only found on wealthy estates. The "vases d’Anduze" became en vogue when Marie-Antoinette decorated the gardens and terraces of Versailles with hundreds of the glazed planters.

Photography by Simon Griffiths  via

There is just something about the Anduze pot that gives them a royal and grand ambiance. I love them planted in boxwoods.

In this and the following image you can see how the rustic look of these Anduze pots adds just the right character to the front entrance of  this beautiful French home belonging to American expatriates Shauna Varvel and her husband Eric. 

These wonderful containers will certainly make a big statement in most settings

Anduze planters are suitable for classic and formal gardens alike. The urns are at their best when planted with larger plants or small trees but these planters are also perfect for topiary and flowers!

An Anduze planter is characterized by it's shape, size, and the decorative shields, garlands of flowers and horizontal stripes that embellish it.

The design of this glazed pottery has endured throughout time and is still being made by hand by potters the same way their ancestors did.


The original colour called flammé made the Anduze planter famous around the world. The color was actually stripes of three colors....yellow to symbolize the sun, green stripes represent foliage and brown denotes the earth.

Today Anduze planters are available in several stunning colors to further enhance your garden.

Green has always been a popular selection.

Atelier de Campagne

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There is a range of variation in tone from deep azure blue....... 

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to an Anduze planter crafted with a soft aqua glaze.

Yet another stunning color for your garden. This Anduze planter is crafted of ceramic with a yellow glaze. So many ways to add color and texture to your home or garden.

The most authentic color of Anduze planter will reveal the pink of the terracotta when it rains but then will whiten up as they dry. 

It doesn't matter what you choose to plant in your Anduze, it will simply look stunning. Here hydrangeas are the stars...... 

or maybe a planting of oleander.

The Anduze planter is an amazing blend of simplicity and elegance.

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You will never regret choosing to decorate your garden with these planters as they are timeless decorative elements.

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Whether well-aged with flaking glaze, a few small chips to the rim, or even some slight damages throughout the rest of the piece, nothing detracts from the charm and beauty of Anduze planters.

Anduze planters are still being made and are for sale at local shops in France, as well as from fine importers all over the world.

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Whether in groupings or standing alone, inside or out, the Anduze planter will give your gardens and homes an instant historical ambience.

Anduze containers are not frost proof so they do need to be brought inside at first sign of frost. They are so lovely inside the home you may never take them out again.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

In the event that I have not credited the correct source of an image, please contact me at and I would be glad to correct it.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Decorating With Colorful Majolica

Majolica is a term applied to Italian pottery originating during the Renaissance period of the 1400s-1500s in southern Europe. Majolica actually came to Italy via glazed products from Spain which were shipped from the port of Majorca. By the late 15th century several small cities in northern and central Italy were producing colorful majolica pieces for wealthy clients in Italy.

In 16th century France, self-taught French potterBernard Palissy, reformulated the Renaissance tin glazes and began decorating majolica serving pieces with odd creatures such as snakes, lizards and crustaceans.  The French called it Palissy ware. 

 About 1850, Herbert Minton of the famous English porcelain factory began imitating the process used by Palissy. Minton first displayed majolica to the public in London at the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851 and as they say "the crowd went wild". The name majolica replaced Palissy ware and soon colorful majolica would be mass-produced in Britain, Europe, and the US. Only the advent of Art Nouveau ended the majolica trend and it's popularity did not return until the 1980's which was when I had my collection.

 Even though I sold my collection I still admire these fun, colorful, and appealing pieces of majolica and would encourage anyone to consider collecting a few. Majolica is definitely a little kitsch and certainly not serious art. However you could say its warmth, whimsy, and decoration is worth the trouble. It is FUN!

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Majolica is a great way to add color and vibrancy to any interior space. But beware....many are addicted to majolica and there is little chance for recovery.

via Pintrest

There are so many wonderful and varied Majolica items to collect. From pitchers, teapots, and cheese dishes, to serving pieces and jardinières, the list goes on and on.

Majolica is a soft-bodied earthenware, distinguished by the use of a lead glaze to which tin ashes have been added, that accepts a variety of colors - blues, greens, yellows, oranges, and purples.

Kathryn Greeley Designs

Believe me you will definitely find something of interest to collect in the majolica line. Most people just collect it all!

images via Pinterest

Majolica was at its height of popularity from the 1850's through the mid-1880's. Colorful majolica designs had rustic motifs with backgrounds of basketry and foliage decorated with rose stems and twined flowers, vines, and leaves. Handles were made like rustic tree branches. Fanciful birds, fish and animals adorned unexpected places.

Throughout England, highly decorated and texturally pleasing majolica objects were the perfect complement to a Victorian home’s décor. Today it is sought after again for the modern English style interiors.......but thankfully is held in restraint.

The combination of Victorian romanticism and naturalism provided the incentive for creating elements of the natural world in majolica ceramics.

Kinderhook Auction Company

Leaf themed majolica pieces are probably the most popular for collectors because of their affordability although some an still be expensive.

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More colorful, fanciful Majolica. Any piece adds texture and character to your interior.

Karen E Keysar Interiors Inc

Majolica From Trilogy Antiques
These botanical themes still delight and amaze collectors. Butter pats are fun small items to collect.

Colorful majolica pieces with floral and fruit themes were also very popular.

These majolica pieces became a big hit with the socialites during the Victorian collecting frenzy. 

I especially like French Barbotine majolica which has more of a dimensional look. Usually flowers, fruits, and animals would be applied separately from the body and covered with majolica glazes. The one piece I kept from my collection is Barbotine and is a basket with flowers and cherries attached.

Images via Pinterest

The French were particularly adept at this kind of trompe-l'oeil decoration and used it extensively on majolica.

George Jones & Sons

The majolica pitchers and vases with leaves, ferns and vines are great containers for charming floral arrangements.

Some majolica was influenced by the design of the old "Cauliflower" teapots made by Thomas Whieldon, Wedgwood, and other 18th-century Staffordshire potters. Both English and American majolica potters reproduced the "Cauliflower" pattern as well as other raised fruits and vegetables.

Turn of the century French majolica asparagus pieces were trendy then and are highly popular today as well.

Charles Darwin’s, On The Origin Of Species By Means Of Natural Selection, also fueled the fascination with the natural world during the Victorian era. Here in designer Alberto Pinto's home you can see his collection of lizard, snake, crustaceans and fish plates and platters that were all the rage at the time.

There was a boom in naturalistic pottery, often with an element of whimsy, to which colorful majolica was well suited.

Victorian majolica collecting became an interior design statement. Conservatories were becoming fashionable and they were adorned with spectacular majolica garden seats, flower pots, jardinières,  large birds and animals figures. Majolica was EVERYWHERE!

all images via Pinterest

But the Victorians could not restrain themselves and left a plethora of majolica animals scratching their heads as to why nobody wanted them anymore. The Victorians (as was typical) had overdone the majolica trend and some of the wares created during this time eventually became thought of as tacky. By the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, majolica production was at an end.


The 1980's revival saw many of us being introduced to majolica and the treasure hunt was on again for this colorful collectible. We treated it much classier that the Victorians but it was eventually replaced by minimalism. 

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Today's collectors masterfully arrange majolica groupings in beautiful cupboards.

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NancysDailyDish (@nancysdailydish) on Instagram:

Look at all the beautiful colors!

Majolica pairs well with English Staffordshire figures.

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Designer Margaret Chambers

Small vignettes throughout the home is a lovely way to display your majolica collection.

Another way to display a majolica collection is by hanging it artfully on a wall.

Many collectors are partial to greenware. This refers to the green glaze on this style of majolica that emphasizes the low relief patterning, typically of basketwork and foliage.

A charming greenware majolica collection artfully displayed in a Charles Faudree interior.

Be sure to use your majolica for special occasions as it will cast it's spell on your guests. Don't keep collections behind closed doors!

Majolica From Trilogy Antiques

One of the reasons colorful majolica serving pieces are fun to collect is how you can use them to liven up a mismatched party table.

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Bunny Mellon's majolica collection via The Glam Pad

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Antique French Sarreguemines Majolica. This style majolica was produced in the factories under the direction of Alexandre de Geiger during the 1830's in Sarreguemines which is a town in eastern France.

What a delightful majolica display!

Designer Linda Horn's majolica collection via

For some reason dark browns and greens always come to mind when majolica is first mentioned. However most pieces exhibited pretty colors in shades of aqua, pink, yellow and blue.

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Imaginative and magical, majolica is an amusing collectible. You never know what you might discover next.

Colorful pitchers are on the top of my list when it comes to collecting majolica. They are perfect for collections and equally appealing used individually in vignettes.

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French majolica vase with applied morning glory flowers and 5 birds.

Home of Andrea Siwiec via The Glam Pad

There are lovely reproductions out the so you can collect antique, reproduction, or a combination of both and create an eye catching space in any room of your house. In any collection, there should be a balance of pieces from high to low quality, diverse in shapes, colors and makers. You might pick up treasure or two by keeping an eye out for it when you are thrifting or at estates auctions and yard sales.

Source unknown....please let me know if it is yours!

And the reproductions include it all from flowers and leaves to curious fish, fruit, and other living critters. The bottom line is to collect what YOU like because then you will never be disappointed.

Here are some tips if you are interested in collecting majolica.

REAL majolica was made in the 15th Century , $$$$$$, so forget about that. But it enjoyed a renaissance of its own in the 19th Century, where it graced fashionable Victorian homes. These pieces can still be found at reasonable prices if you get out and treasure hunt. And, of course, it’s still being made today. It is OK to collect the newer pieces just be aware that many reproductions are being passed off as vintage or antique. Just don't want you paying antique prices for reproductions!

1. Check the handles. Real antique majolica handles were applied on the outside. There should be no holes on the inside of the piece that reveal a hollow handle. Look beneath the handle on the outside, as well – some reproductions try to sneak in the firing hole, hoping you won’t notice.

2. Look inside. Even if the color doesn’t extend all the way to the bottom, the interior should be completely glazed.

3. Look on the base. A number can be a good thing.

4. Check out the crazing, (a network of fine cracks on the surface of a material, for example in a glaze layer). Some reproductions have tried to copy the crazing that comes from age and exposure to temperature changes. The repro crazing always looks too uniform and does not have that aged look.

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

In the event that I have not credited the correct source of an image, please contact me at and I would be glad to correct it.

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