Jean Cocteau Ceramics

5/02/2016     Ceramics & Glass, News Stories & Press Release, Decorative Arts & Modern Design

Decorative Art and Modern Design Auction

22 and 23 March 2016

Consignment deadline: 19 February 2016
“…Picasso told me that if I put a ceramic in the kiln, I would be lost. But I have always taken great pleasure in losing myself. ” Cocteau
London – Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers present a collection of 9 ceramic plates by Jean Cocteau Born in 1889 the talented Artist, Ceramicist, Author, Actor, Director, Poet and Playwright had a career that spanned over 50 years, with the first public performance of his poetry taking place when he was just 18, a year later his first poetry book would be published  ‘La Lamped’Aladin’ in 1909.
Growing up in Paris he was exposed to the delights of a creative environment and soon became part of the avant garde scene, befriending the likes of artists Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani and writer Guillaume Apollinaire. All of which he would go on to work with on various creative projects.
In his life he would fall in love with actress Madeleine Carlier, 12 years his senior, have an intimate relationship with 15 year old novelist Raymond Radiguet whose sudden death from typhoid five years into their relationship caused Cocteau’s demise into opium use. During his recovery from his addiction he produced some of his most important works, the stage play ‘Orphee’, the novel ‘Les Enfants Terribles’ and many extended poems.

Later in life he released his first film (1930) ‘Blood of a poet’ which was a commentary on his own private mythology.
Fifteen years later after a continued battle with opium use, he directed his adaptation of ‘La Belle et le Bete (beauty and the Beast), this was a triumphant return for Cocteau.
He presented his first exhibition of ceramic works in Paris in 1958 – this creative triumph would continue up until his death in 1963.
Having written all his creative career he turned to ceramics and imagery to continue to express himself.
Cocteau and his techniques, details taken from the official Cocteau website
The Enamel
Cocteau preferred to use enamel to underline a detail (red spot on the eyes) or for the traits only.
The Pencil made out of oxides
In 1958, nothing of the sort exists in French pottery; Cocteau invented this pencil to give his designs an appearance of pastel. It consists of a mixture of pasty clay and oxides rolled by hand into little cylinders like a pastel that would be used, after drying – like a pencil. This technique was rather empirical.
The Slip
Liquid clay called ‘Barbontine’ to which metallic oxides are added, giving it its colour during the baking process. The mixture is applied on the surface of a piece of unfired clay. The slip can re-cover the piece to make a background or can be re-engraved to find the initial colour of the piece.
From this rich creative mind Roseberys are delighted to present 9 ceramic plates painted by the hand of Cocteau.
Lots 26 to 34 are the full collection of nine plates. One lot per plate.
Auction highlights include Lots 28 and 31.
Jean Cocteau, French (1889-1963) Pêcheur Provencal, ceramic plate, signed lower right, Jean Cocteau, signed to reverse, Edition originale de Jean Cocteau, Atelier Madeline-Jolly 5/30 in perpex box frame, approx 31cm diameter. (may be subject to Droit de Suite)
£1,500-2,500 [Lot 28]
Jean Cocteau, French (1889-1963) La Magie du Cap D’Ail, a terracotta pate, signed lower right Jean Cocteau, inscribed to reverse, Edition original du Jean Cocteau, Atelier Madeline-Jolly 16/35, in wood and perspex box frame approx 36cm diameter. (may be subject to Droit de Suite)
£1,500-2,500 [Lot 31]
Roseberys are currently inviting consignments for the March Decorative Art & Modern Design Auction
For a complimentary valuation and to consign work please contact
Richard Gibbon              Tel: +44 (0) 20 87612522

Roseberys is a privately owned auction house operating at the heart of the fine art market for more than 25 years.
With offices in London’s Mayfair and Lambeth Roseberys offer a calendar of more than twelve specialist fine art, antiques and collectibles auctions each year.
Specialist sales include a wide range of Asian and Islamic Arts, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design, Decorative Art, Fine Silver and Jewellery, Ceramics, Paintings, Prints, Photography, Antique Textiles, Vintage Fashion and Fine Wine and Whisky.
Roseberys team of world-renowned specialists also provide a wide range of art market services to professional clients, including valuations for insurance and probate.
Roseberys is a member of SOFAA – The Society of Fine Art Auctioneers.
For more information on any of the Lots mentioned please contact
Press Contact
Charlotte Meddings                                                               
INSTAGRAM: @RoseberysLtd
TWITTER: @RoseberysLtd



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