This colorful piece demonstrates the exceptionnal creativity of the ceramic factory Minton based in Stoke-on-Trent in the second half of the 19th century. Numerous French and Italian sculptors come to work in the workshops of the most famous factory of artistic ceramics in England. The technique perfected by Léon Arnoux, called majolica is especially well suited for the various animals and naturalistic objects created by inventive sculptors such as Louis Carrier-Belleuse, Paul Comoléra or Hugues Prôtat. The latter invented this astonishing group that represents a stork holding in its beak a pike fish. The precision of the details and the harmony of the composition make it a refined work of art.
Among the French artists working for Minton, Hugues Protât was one of the most important. Sculptor, modeler, designer and chiseller, he regularly exhibited his works at the Parisian Salon between 1845 and 1858. Some of his pieces have his signature and monogram.
Throughout his career, Protât was attached to the naturalism in vogue at this time in the ceramic art. This pitcher shows his taste for the fauna and the flora.