This charming and playful model is crafted in majolica by Jerome Massier, who, together with his cousins, revived the production of majolica-ware in the French town Vallauris in the late 19th Century. The Massiers became know for their playful ceramic depictions of animals, which were sculpted into bowls, vases and other decorative objects. The family of ceramicists also pioneered new techniques in the production and glazing of majolica, which allowed their creations to be decorated with new and vibrant colours.
This bowl is modeled as a wicker basket which is entwined with leaves and held in the four paws of a cat. The cat, brown with a white face, lies on its back with the bowl over its stomach as it looks up playfully, a red ribbon around its neck, reclining on a blue cushion with yellow trims. The underside is signed ‘Vallauris / J. Massier / Epreuve d’artiste’.