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Gilbert Méténier 

(Gannat 1876 - c.1940s St. Raphaël)

Double-aperture vase with handle, c.1920s - early 1930s

‘bleus de Gannat’ dripware glaze on stoneware

incised ‘G. Metenier’ to the base

15 x 18 cm.

Méténier was born in 1876 and took over his father Loius Méténier’s (1844-1922) pottery in Gannat in central France around 1920. In the 1930s, the pottery employed 10-15 people and became well-known for this kind of drip-glaze pottery, typically in blue nuances (hence the moniker ‘bleus de Gannat’ sometimes used to describe it). Méténier also had a penchant for unusual shapes – form for the sake of form, and this unique double-aperture vase is no exception, having a peculiarly sculptural quality. 

When the Germans arrived in France in 1940 Gilbert closed the pottery, destroying all his moulds so that his work would not fall into the hands of the enemy, promptly moving to Saint Raphaël in the south of France. He was in his seventies, so it was an enforced retirement of sorts, and it is likely that he may have died around this time as there are no further records of his life or work. One could speculate that he may have had Jewish heritage. 

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