Modern & contemporary ceramics: Tajan X Paris Design Week




Modern & contemporary

Tajan invites you to Paris Design Week from 6 to 18 September 2023




JULES AGARD (1905-1986)
Set of four zoomorphic sculptures in modelled white clay, symbolising different birds, in beige, white, grey and ochre engobes.
Handwritten signature incised on each.
Height 19 cm – 19 cm – 16 cm – 18 cm



The sale traces the rich history of this medium, from the pioneers who reopened kilns at the end of the war to the revival of the production centres at La Borne, Paris and Vallauris in the 1950s and 60s.


All the pieces selected illustrate the extraordinary wind of freedom that blew over ceramic creation during the years of reconstruction and the new needs of the society of the Thirty Glorious. After the deprivations of the war, this period of strong economic growth was accompanied by a desire for comfort: the population now wanted to indulge in more casual preoccupations such as decorating their homes.


Ceramists realised that they could create pieces that combined beauty and utility. They also developed techniques and production methods that made it possible to mass-produce objects, while preserving their traditional skills. Innovative shapes and flamboyant colours testify to the commitment and energy of these potters to revive this art of fire, producing pieces that will become veritable works of art and collectors’ items, in a quest for modern aesthetics.


This annual sale has become a not-to-be-missed event for lovers of post-war ceramics. A new feature this year is the opening up of the sale to young contemporary artists, with the emphasis on aesthetics and decoration rather than utility. The other selective criterion relates to the novelty of the forms, which brings the works closer to sculpture or design. Whether the forms are turned or modelled, we set out to collect unique pieces.


It was also important to establish a dialogue between the different eras, in order to break down the barriers between modern and contemporary ceramics. Ceramics is an age-old art of fire that has been passed down through the lifestyles of the whole of society to become an essential element of the decorative arts.



EDOUARD PIGNON (1905-1993)
A large baluster vase with a cylindrical neck, in slip-coated terracotta showing two profiles of a young girl. Incised handwritten signature “Pignon”, dated 17-10-53 and located in Vallauris, on the reverse of the base.
Height 51 cm – Diameter 30 cm




PETER ORLANDO (1921-2009)     
Triangular vase in orange, black and white glazed earthenware on a grey background, with incised decoration of abstract forms. Handwritten signature incised on the reverse of the base.
Height 26.5 cm – Width 15.5 cm




COLETTE GUEDEN FOR PRIMAVERA – (Ateliers d’Art du Printemps)
Woman with a dove, bust of a young woman in biscuit partially enamelled black, green and red.
Handwritten signature incised on the inside of the foot “C. Gueden Primavera” and stamped “Made in France”. Made in Saint-Leu. Circa 1955 (A few minor accidents around the edges of the leaves). Height 43 cm – Width 22 cm – Depth 13 cm
History: The model was first presented at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1952 and acquired by the Mobilier National.
Bibliography: Patrick Favardin, “Les Décorateurs des années 50”, Norma, Paris, 2002, p. 34






Auction sale
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 à 3pm
Espace Tajan,
37, rue des Mathurins 75008 Paris






Marie-Cécile Michel
Director of the Decorative Arts & Design Department
T. +33 1 53 30 30 58
[email protected]


Press & Communication service
T. +33 1 53 30 30 68
37, rue des Mathurins, 75008 Paris
[email protected]