Decorative French Vintage Ceramic Thermometer and Casing by Mithé Espelt (circa 1960s)
Decorative, French vintage ceramic thermometer and casing by Mithé Espect (circa 1960s). A delightful piece with stylised bird and flower blossoms. The rectangular ceramic backdrop for the decor is in chocolate brown with gold craquelure edges. The bird is in her favourite blue with a rich, creamy white which is mirrored on the thermometer. The flowers are also in blue with gold craquelure blossoms. The piece is in good overall condition with perhaps a slight blemish near the bird's tail. The felt backing is intact and in pristine condition. A truly charming and stylish piece for your home or work place. Please enjoy the many photos accompanying the listing. Upon request a video may be provided.
H 15.5 cm / 6.1"
W 9 cm / 3.5"
D 1 cm / 0.4"
About the artist: Born in 1923 in Lunel in the South of France, Mithé Espelt grew up in a family of affluent winegrowers and was very close to her grandfather who passed on his love for the arts and brought her into contact with major intellectuals and artists of the time. She rubbed shoulders with Jean Hugo, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Christian Bérard and many others. She graduated from the Beaux-Arts school in Montpellier in 1942, and then studied at the Fontcarrade school where she took a special interest in ceramics. She began by designing buttons for fashion houses in Paris, before managing the entire production of buttons and jewellery at the Lydia Chartier workshop and collaborating with Line Vautrin, amongst others. At the end of the war, she returned to her native south, opened her studio and took advantage of the growing excitement around ceramics, particularly those from the town of Vallauris. To stand out and sustain the workshop business she started designing gilded jewellery, a touch of luxury in which her creativity, the colours she used and her originality in workmanship ensured her success. A very feminine aesthetic was the hallmark of her many beautiful objects designed for the boudoir: jewel-encrusted wall mirrors, elegant hand mirrors and beguiling jewellery boxes among other things. These highly collectable pieces all featuring her signature gold crackle are considered works of art today. These works do not generally bear any signature. As a result, her opulent objects have long been misattributed to Vallauris ceramicist François Lembo. Not signing her pieces was a way of shunning recognition and fame. Her work has been the subject of significant attention recently thanks to Antoine Candau’s book, “Mithé Espelt, the Discreet Luxury of the Everyday,” which reveals their artistic significance and is becoming a mandatory guide to mid-century French ceramics. In addition, 'The World of Interiors' magazine dedicated several pages to her works in their April 2021 edition.