Most were made at the Madoura Pottery in the town of Vallauris in southern France.
This piece was painted and glazed plate created in 1950, making it one of the earlier pieces from Madoura, and was produced in a relatively small edition of 50. Titled Corrida aux personnages – the central scene of a bullfight is bordered by characters that provide the crowd – it is numbered 104 in Alan Ramie’s catalogue raisonné of Picasso pots. A number of these 16in (39cm) chargers have appeared for sale in recent times.
Two offered by Christie’s in 2020 took £26,000 (February 2020) and £19,000 (September 2020), while another took £14,000 at Sotheby’s in December 2020 as part of the Chenel collection.
However, this dish, sold by Gorringe’s (23% buyer’s premium) in Lewes on March 8 was a rare variant. While most Corrida aux personnages dishes are undecorated to the reverse, this one is painted in black with a faun holding a branch and signed and inscribed Picasso, 1st Septembre 1951.
It comes with a letter of authentication from Alain Ramié at Madoura, dated November 25, 1996, and is in good condition – the crazing and small unglazed patches both inherent to the manufacturing process.
Estimated at £10,000-15,000, it sold at £34,000.