After a modest upbringing as an orphan in Lyon, Jean Carriès achieved success with the first sculptures he sent to the Paris Salons. He discovered Japanese ceramics at the Universal Exposition in 1878 and ten years later, his income now assured, decided to devote himself entirely to glazed stoneware. With Paul Gauguin, he learnt his craft from the ceramicist Ernest Chaplet then left Paris for Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye, a village in the Nièvre region known for its siliceous clay. His first glazed stoneware pieces were reproductions of his sculptures. He also produced masks and unusual animals influenced by Gothic and Japanese art. He decorated these unique pots and vases with superimposed glazes and drips, occasionally heightened with a gilt border. They were donated to the museum by the ceramicist Émile Grittel in 1934.