I’m so very proud to offer this vase for sale. It came from one of our favourite sources, from a sale at a grand chateau in our area.
We have quite a few Boch Freres items in our catalogue, and have sold many more. This piece, however, is very important in the history of Boch Freres…
Formed officially in 1844, Boch Freres (Keramis) was the new incarnation of a family trade which could be traced back to at least 1748.
Many of the skills, tools and contacts were handed down through the generations, and what is truly exceptional about this piece is that the hand-painted, metallised design is in fact the very first one produced by the newly-formed enterprise in its ‘3rd period’, 1892-1920.
This exciting time saw a change from the often-printed, monochrome designs of the previous 50 years, and the very start of what became the Art Nouveau era.
With thanks to Emile Diffloth, who introduced gilt decors to the ceramics of BFK at this time, this ‘BFK 1’ design was applied by hand to the vase, form 453, and in many ways epitomises the period.
The colours and the flowing forms of the iris flowers are a real break from the tradition of the monochrome and Delft-like designs of the previous years.
Boch Freres Keramis of course then went on to greatness—especially in the Art Deco era with the highly collectable Charles Catteau pieces that we happily specialise in, and then of course Royal Boch.
Of interest to Boch collectors, Art Nouveau collectors and antiques investors alike, this is a very rare piece indeed.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the signatures of the era, I’m happy to say that without a shadow of a doubt the smudged hand-signed mark is instantly recognisable as that of BFK, and I can point to a wealth of examples to verify this, if needed.
A piece of history from Chateau Antiques, France.