Palissy-style ‘art of the earth’ basin, 1856, $40,000 (£33,350) at Strawser.

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The French ceramicist, based in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, is often credited with rediscovering the techniques of Bernard Palissy (c.1510-90) although his ambitious creations often went well beyond those of the Renaissance potter.

This 22in (55cm) dish teams with life, from a pike lying in a pool of water to the centre to a lush border populated by lizards, a snake and a frog, each coloured with a different glaze. Similar items were exhibited by Avisseau at the Great Exhibition in 1851.


A detail of the Palissy-style basin that made $40,000 (£33,350) at Strawser.

As a large, signed and dated example it sold well above its $2000-3000 estimate to an internet bidder for $40,000 (£33,350) plus 23% buyer’s premium as part of the majolica sale at Strawser’s auction in Indiana on August 23.