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Is it any better in Heaven, my friend Ford, than you found it in Provence? — William Carlos Williams to Ford Madox Ford in Heaven.

I don’t think you’re allowed to live in Provence unless you have a pair of Anduze pots at your front door. I have two in storage so I’m good to go. My mother and I (and of course we dragged poor Gracie along) to the Anduze factory in the south of France. We wanted to have the pots for our antique store, Circa. We picked out two big beautiful green pots and asked to have them shipped back to California with all of our other purchases in a huge container. Two months later, this container shows up at my mother’s front door. I’m talking huge shipping container. They told us we had two hours to unpack it. We broke open the seal and the first thing we saw were two ginormous wooden crates that were taking up one fourth of the container. We were like, “What the hell is that?” It was a crate inside of a crate inside of a crate and finally it was revealed that these were our green Anduze pots. Good Lord. We probably just paid more in shipping than the actual pots. Typical O’Connell move.

Here is a little history of these pots:
Once upon a time, a small village in the foothills of the Cevennes ranges, Anduze, grew famous over the centuries for its manufacturing of clay pots, urns and jars, a legacy of the Medici design, in awesome but still harmonious shapes and sizes. Nowadays this little township close to Provence, the southernmost part of France, is known worldwide for its garden vases and orange planters, that are an essential landscaping feature of the Versailles Palace timeless garden designs. “ – The Good House.

 “The legend takes us back to a fair occurring in year 1610 when an Anduze potter who was captivated by the elegance of a Medici vase drew his inspiration from its general shape to create the first ANDUZE planter. The result turned out to be a harmonious combination of Italian exuberance and Cevenol (meaning : from the Cevennes) austerity on a stocky bodied planter, embellished by garlands and “stamped” clay badges showing the potter’s name ; since then, the ANDUZE planter has acquired its worldwide French gardens ‘ornament reputation. Originally designed to plant orange and lemon trees, these large glazed planters were displayed in gardens and orange groves to ornate Southern aristocratic properties in the past ; it is the case around the world today.” – La Chêne Vert

“Not only is the Gautier family one of the most ancient dynasty of potters, it has left the strongest marks in the corporation… The oldest written information found about a potter named “Gautier” takes us back to year 1560… But it is likely that the craftsmen’s tradition of this family may go back further in time… When signing their planters which ornate numerous gardens, the eldest pieces being dated 1728 in the vicinity of Vauvert and 1730 in Anduze, this family left its marks in the history of the Anduze planters… We have strong reasons to believe that the Gautier were the first to make pots in Anduze during the first third of the 17th century. One may say that they have largely contributed to the prosperity of this arts and crafts industry to a point where today’s potters owe them a great deal.” – Le Chêne Vert

There are lots of colors to choose from:
Natural-The Natural aspect of Terra Cotta. The planter will naturally become covered with lichen.

Traditional “flammé”-The original colour which made the planters famous around the world. A subtle mix of three shiny stripes of blended colours is displayed to enhance the distinctive features of the planters which fit perfectly in a natural environment: The yellow stripes symbolize the sun, the green stripes imitate foliage and brown stripes the earth.

Green-Green is a traditional colour usually found on antique earthenware such as ancient tiles, culinary dishes, antique olive jars… It is also one of the oldest colours observed on ancient Mediterranean horticultural pottery.


Ceruse finish-A quite contemporary white matt finish slightly brushed over terra cotta. These planters should be set up inside or outside preferably under a sheltered area.
Aged finish touches-Any glazed planter can be hand-stressed once fired into the kiln to obtain an older aspect.

Antica -Touches of brown and green glaze on a contrasting, slightly hand-stressed terra cotta.

Old Antic -The most “authentic” patina. Not only will the rain reveal the pink colour of the terra cotta but by the time the sun rises, the planters will whiten up as they dry.


My favorites are the green and the flamme. I swear to God this thought crossed my mind: What color Anduze pot would my cat, Frances, look best sitting next to?
What are your favorite colors?

I’ve done a little research and compiled a little list of the best sources for these Anduze pots. Voilà!
Authentic Provence
Big Daddy's Antiques
Eye of the Day
Poterie de la Madeleine
Le Chêne Vert
The Good House

                                                                           A tout á l’heure!


  1. Well, Madame Ellie, merci for you have taught me the history of these gorgeous pots. And yes, I had to laugh at the first sentence because it is kind of true. I say "kind of" only because ours are not from Anduze but were a gift from really dear friends when they left Provence to go back to the States. One of the three that they gave us recently broke as it was pushed over by a huuuge gust of Mistral (we have white laurel bushes in them) and I was so sad. As for the vrai de vrai I actually like the natural ones best. And ps. Antique ones have nearly tripled in price in the past five years!

  2. Thank you for the History lesson. I love knowing how something came about. This is really cool stuff!Jill