Friday, March 4, 2011

My Two Girly Art Nouveau Vases

My present day mantle. With vases.

One of my vases, close up. Art nouveau or is it 'arts and crafts' since it was made in England?

Yesterday, on a whim, I entered Thomas Forester and Sons into Google to see what I could find.

I have two vases that I understand to be from that productive Victorian pottery house.

They've been in my mother's family for years, possibly one hundred years or more.

When I inherited them, all my mother could tell me was that they were English. So I trolled the Internet and found one photo of a vase that appeared similar (although not nearly as pretty). That vase was from Thomas Forester and Sons, Longton, Stoke on Trent.

A few years later I brought the two portrait vases (Rembrandt style black and gold) to Brockville where a woman was giving an antique road show style event... (She had been an appraiser on the Canadian Antiques Roadshow).

I showed her the vases and, sure enough, she said she thought I might be right. She said my two vases were worth 600.00 or so. She told me something of interest too. These tube lined vases have poppies or some such flower on the back and the colour from the orange poppies bleeds into the background. I assumed this was a defect. She said no, that it proves the vases have been fired four times. Which was a good thing, apparently.

Well, yesterday, as it happens, I found another Thomas Forester and Sons vase on eBay and EUREKA it was in exactly the same style as my vases and the blurb said they were signed by a A.Deans.

This is my vase. My vases have portraits of young maidens, in different styles. One is more classical, the other Egyptian, if you look close, her features are sphinxlike.

This vase (below)for sale on eBay has a portrait of an older woman, a bit cartoony and quite adorable.

The style and technique and colouring used is unquestionably the same.

My vases aren't signed A. Deans. There's a squiggle under one vase, looks a bit like an M.
The more I look at these three women, I notice that the old lady and one of the gals (the Egyptian girl) look alike, in that they have wide eyes.. Could these be the potter's wife and two daughters? Was the potter a man? Probably.

So, on a whim, today, I found out more about my vases and woke up to something very obvious. Must be all that New Age stuff I'm listening to lately.

The vases, 1954 or 55, my mom and sisters. Harvard Street, NDG, Montreal. The vases belonged to my grandmother; at her death in 1951 she left all her household stuff (bric a brac up the ying yang) to the aunt on right, Cecile. She gave the art nouveau vases to the aunt on the left, aunt Flo. Cecile did not like art nouveau. She also gave her classic CLOUD Pattern Verre Francais vase. Flo left her vases to me in 2001 when she died. (Luckily, we didn't get the vases earlier. They would surely have been broken or sold for cash.)
I am looking for another picture, taken at around Christmastime in 1954, showing me as a newborn.
Oh, I found one copy that has scotchtape damage.

Christmas 1954. I am on the right.

The important thing, these pretty and unusual vases have been in my family for years ! And I have photo evidence.

The more classical girl on March 5th, is it, 2011.. (she's sooo shiny I have trouble photographing her

The classical girl in December 1954, a few weeks after I was born. Beside a box of Black Magic chocolates. She was already as old as I am now, if she was thrown in 1900....How funny..

Thanks A. Dean for giving me a way to gauge my life.

As clear as I can get it, 2000 dpi scan..