Auguste Riffaterre Matching Pate sur Pate Plaques From Limoges France Set Into Oak Frames
Auguste Riffaterre was born in 1868 and died in 1935. He studied under the great artists of the Sevres factory, where the art of Pate Sur Pate was created and developed by the likes of Marc Louis Solon.
Riffaterre went on to become one of the foremost exponents of the art in France. His pieces are rare and very sought after and rarely come on the market. When they do they command very high prices.
This beautiful pair of oak framed plaques show Putti playing amongst the clouds.
Pâte-sur-pâte is a French term meaning "paste on paste". It is a method of porcelain decoration in which a relief design is created on an unfired, unglazed body by applying successive layers of white slip (liquid clay) with a brush. The effect is somewhat similar to other types of relief decoration such as Jasperware, but as a mould is not normally used, the artist is able to achieve translucency.
To understand pâte-sur-pâte fully, we need to go back to France in the 1850s, and an accident that occurred at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres. They were trying to reproduce a decorative technique from a Chinese vase, but misinterpreting the vase, the experiment took them along an altogether different path from the Chinese potter. Be it luck or fate they perfected what became universally known as pâte-sur-pâte.
The operation involves painting a thin wash of slip onto a coloured but unfired piece of porcelain. Subsequent layers, sometimes in different colours, are added when the earlier layers are dry, gradually, sometimes over weeks or months, building up a design in varying thicknesses and intensities.
The design can then be sharpened by engraving and the piece fired.
The technique was developed at Sevres c1850-75 by Marc-Louis Solon. At the outset of The Franco-Prussian war Solon fled France and joined the Minton Factory in England and continued his work there.
Limoges porcelain is rightly famous throughout the world for the quality of its porcelain and the exquisite nature of the enamel work produced there over many hundreds of years.