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Discover the Beauty and Rarity of Collectible or Antique Pate sur Pate

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Pate-sur-Pate VasesPate sur Pate is a French term that translates to "paste on paste" and refers to a ceramic decorating technique where layers of liquid clay are applied to a ceramic body to create a raised relief effect. This technique was invented by Marc-Louis Solon, who worked for the famous Sevres porcelain factory in France.

Pate sur Pate became popular in the mid-19th century, and it is still highly collectible and sought after today. This article will explore the beauty and rarity of collectible or antique Pate sur Pate and provide insights into what makes these pieces so valuable and desirable.

The History of Pate sur Pate

Marc-Louis Solon developed the Pate sur Pate technique while working at the Sevres factory in the 1850s. He wanted to create a new technique that would allow him to create a raised relief effect that was not possible with other decorating methods.

Solon's technique involved applying multiple layers of liquid clay to the ceramic body, with each layer building on the previous one. The layers were then carefully carved and sculpted to create intricate designs and details. The final product was then fired in a kiln, creating a hard, durable finish.

Pate sur Pate was an instant success, and it quickly became one of the most popular decorating techniques of the late 19th century. The technique was used to decorate a wide range of ceramic items, including vases, plates, figurines, and even jewelry.

The Beauty of Pate sur Pate

Pate sur Pate is renowned for its intricate, delicate designs and raised relief effect. The technique allows artists to create incredibly detailed and lifelike designs that are both beautiful and unique.

The designs created with Pate sur Pate are often inspired by nature, with floral and foliage motifs being especially popular. Other common designs include mythological figures, animals, and scenes from daily life.

One of the most striking features of Pate sur Pate is its subtle, understated beauty. The designs are often monochromatic, with the white or cream-colored relief standing out against a darker background. This creates a sense of depth and dimension that is not possible with other decorating techniques.

The Rarity of Collectible or Antique Pate sur Pate

Pate sur Pate is highly collectible and sought after today, and it is considered to be one of the most valuable types of antique ceramics. This is due in part to the rarity of the technique and the skill required to produce high-quality Pate sur Pate pieces.

Producing Pate sur Pate requires a great deal of skill and patience. The multiple layers of liquid clay must be applied and sculpted by hand, making each piece unique and individual. This also means that producing Pate sur Pate is a time-consuming process, and it is not something that can be mass-produced.

Another reason for the rarity of Pate sur Pate is that the technique was only popular for a relatively short period of time. The heyday of Pate sur Pate was the late 19th century, and by the early 20th century, other decorating techniques had become more popular. This means that there are a limited number of antique Pate sur Pate pieces in existence, making them highly sought after by collectors.

What to Look for When Collecting Pate sur Pate

If you are interested in collecting Pate sur Pate, there are several things to look for to ensure that you are getting a high-quality piece.

Firstly, look for pieces that are in good condition. Pate sur Pate pieces are delicate and can be easily damaged, so it is important to check for cracks, chips, and other damage before making a purchase.

Secondly, pay attention to the quality of the relief work. High-quality Pate sur Pate pieces will have intricate, well-defined designs and sharp edges. The relief should be even and consistent, with no areas that are too thin or too thick.

Finally, consider the artist or manufacturer of the piece. Some of the most famous Pate sur Pate artists include Marc-Louis Solon, who invented the technique, and his son, Albert Solon. Other famous manufacturers include the Sevres factory and the Minton factory in England.

The Value of Collectible or Antique Pate sur Pate

Collectible or antique Pate sur Pate pieces can be quite valuable, depending on their condition, age, and rarity. Some of the most valuable pieces can sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auction.

In general, the most valuable Pate sur Pate pieces are those that are in excellent condition, have intricate and well-defined designs, and were produced by famous artists or manufacturers. Pieces that are signed by the artist or have a provenance that can be traced back to a famous collector or museum can also be more valuable.

The Future of Pate sur Pate Collecting

Despite being a technique that was invented over 150 years ago, Pate sur Pate is still highly sought after by collectors today. As new generations of collectors discover the beauty and rarity of this technique, the demand for high-quality Pate sur Pate pieces is likely to continue to grow.

While the market for Pate sur Pate pieces can be competitive, there are still opportunities for collectors to find high-quality pieces at a reasonable price. As with any type of antique collecting, it is important to do your research, know what to look for, and work with reputable dealers or auction houses.


Pate sur Pate is a beautiful and rare ceramic decorating technique that has been highly prized by collectors for over a century. With its delicate, lifelike designs and subtle beauty, Pate sur Pate pieces are some of the most sought-after antique ceramics in the world.

If you are interested in collecting Pate sur Pate, be sure to look for pieces that are in good condition, have high-quality relief work, and were produced by famous artists or manufacturers. With a little research and some patience, you can add a beautiful and valuable Pate sur Pate piece to your collection.

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