It’s a little ironic that we are back in France right now, shopping with our shoppers in all the most fun antiques places, just as our long lost container of “fabulous French finds” of Anduze jars and other goodies, has finally found itself back home to Atlanta! Yes, we waited on this container for a long time — which is another story (but we won’t bore you with the weather again!) — but now that it has arrived, we’re all jumping up and down, and so thrilled especially that our beautiful Anduze pots arrived safe and sound.
I’ve been coveting these jarres for years, because I’ve always admired the graceful shape and the decorative flourishes, but it wasn’t until recently that I became better educated about them and fell deeply in love!
The French have been decorating their homes and chateaus with Anduze pots since the mid-18th Century, when they were first made in the charming little town of Anduze, in south central France, after Marie Antoinette decorated the Orangerie and lined the formal gardens and terraces of Versailles with these shapely pots.
The Anduze pots were an adaptation of the Italian Medici, glazed in a signature dark green color to blend in with the countryside and often signed by the artisans who hand made them. Unlike their hard working, olive-storing cousins the Biot, Anduze were strictly decorative and never had a functional purpose except to enhance the gardens and patios of the lucky owners who could afford them.
Anduze pots were made in Anduze for about 100 years, starting around 1750. But production dropped off significantly in the mid 1850’s, and all but a few of the factories closed completely. One of the reasons they are so coveted today is that there are just a limited number of the authentic and original Anduze pots made, usually with few vestiges of the dark green glaze remaining, along with a barely readable signature. And with anything that is so rare and hard to find, there is always a price to pay!
If truth be told, now that I have come to covet the real authentic, crusty, crunchy, peeling and patina’d Anduze pot, I’m a little embarrassed at my first attempt at Anduze mania, with a “jarre” I bought for Les Murets several years ago. We know that it’s difficult to find the real, 18th and 19th Century Anduze pots, so imitations abound. And it’s not that I object to the “fake” Anduze, because I do still love the shape. I just wish the patina were a little less shiny, a little less yellow and had a little more age (like me!).
My favorite Anduze’s are the aged ones we use inside, because they’re valuable, they’re rare and they add so much character to any interior. The 18th and 19th C. Anduzes are an old, crunchy, sometimes even slightly crumbling vestige of a bygone era that, although intended to be outside, I think are even happier alongside eclectic furnishings, elegant moldings and modern art. The crunchier the merrier as far as we’re concerned!
Because for us happy Huffingtons, isn’t it always about the mix? Mais oui! Long live l’Anduze.