Much like the branded merchandise of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Saks and their ilk, the Parisian Department Stores of the early-mid 20th century created their own wares, but placed much emphasis on the design element. This began with Printemps creating the "Primavera" line, as early as 1912 and was followed in 1922 by Galeries Lafayette under the direction of Maurice Dufrene with "La Maitrise". Paul Follot was artistic director for the Bonne Marche "Pomona" line and even Les Magazins du Louvre got in on the act with the "Studium" brand. Homewares were commissioned from some of the best designers of the day and no expense spared on the quality of production. Items can still be found today, especially desirable are the ceramics for Primavera which were terrifically avant-garde. On the site at the moment is a striking fine quality Limoges enamel style plate by La Maitrise, with an artists signature and abstract pattern.
It was always going to be a tall order following in the footsteps of one of the 20th century's greatest designers, but Marc Lalique, son of Rene, took the reins of the company in 1945 and not only kept the company at the forefront of business, but in a very progressive manner, built the brand and took it forward. He introduced crystal into the oeuvre of the manufacturing business and added new lines on top of the classic ranges that already existed. By his death in 1977 he had added some wonderful designs that are often forgotten as his own and are still considered "Lalique" in the generic form, such as the cactus table (1946) & console which is certainly a modern classic. We currently have a plate for sale which is typical of his work, fine quality glass with an abstract stylised form in coloured and etched detail. Likely to be considered an important designer in his own right this is a good time to invest in his work.
Roland Brice 1911-1989 was an artist who as a pupil of Leger subscribed to his colourful palette and "purist" principles. He set up a ceramic workshop in Biot, a traditional French centre for earthenware and glass, but the difference between his glazes and bright colours and the usual drab functional items produced at Biot was enormous. Leger worked with Brice for five years between 1950-55 and produced limited editions and one off pieces. After Legers death in 1955 Brice carried the same principles forward, and his distinctive pottery is highly recognizable. Leger pieces are highly valuable, but post Leger pieces are still available at reasonable prices such as the dish currently listed for sale.
There is not a vast amount of information out there about Madeleine Jolly, though pieces by her do appear relatively frequently. Many of these are slightly "kitsch" with painted designs of flowers or animals on, but running though her work is a tendency towards abstraction, as seen in this vessel with elongated silhouetted figures. Jolly worked at Villefranche Sur Mer in her pottery Le Triskel with her husband Philippe Madeline, and much like Picasso at Madoura with Suzanne Ramie, Jean Cocteau benefitted from their expertise as he made over 300 ceramics there between 1957-1963.