Etienne HAJDU and Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres – roller vase 1978



What I like

What I love is first of all the sculptor Etienne Hajdu, who for me is one of the greatest abstract sculptors working in France in the post-war period. His very recognizable work, with its rounded, distantly anthropomorphic forms, is present in many museums.

Various influences fuel his abstract style, which manifests itself through the use of disparate materials. He discovers the works of Brancusi, Arp and Léger, while being interested in archaic civilizations. Alongside his abstract creations from 1930, the artist took a particular interest in nature and organic forms, from which he drew inspiration to create sculptures with clean lines.

Next, I obviously like the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres: since its creation, it has combined technical perfection and innovation, and inventiveness as well as the use of great artists: we think of the Cris de Paris by François Boucher, the models given by Falconet, Boizot, Bouchardon in the 18th century, biscuits after Bosio, Carpeaux, Carrier Belleuse… in the 19th century. In the 20th century, the forms were given by the greatest decorators such as Ruhlmann, Aublet, and the decorations by great painters…

Finally, as a result, I adore Etienne Hajdu’s work for the Manufacture! Various influences fuel his abstract style, which manifests itself in the use of disparate materials. He discovers the works of Brancusi, Arp and Léger, while being interested in archaic civilizations. Alongside his abstract creations from 1930, the artist took a particular interest in nature and organic forms, from which he drew inspiration to create sculptures with clean lines.

Between 1966 and 1976, Etienne Hajdu imagined a very large number of decorations and shapes for the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres. He is undoubtedly the most prolific artist invited to Sèvres of the 20th century. Between 1966 and 1974, he painted many decorations there, including that of the Diane table service for the Presidency of the French Republic and created six vases with engraved or painted decorations. Some of his works are preserved and presented at the Museum of Sèvres.

In the case of our sculpture vase, the hollow turning decoration is read subtly, it occupies the space of the wall well: discreet it allows meditation: we are immersed in a universe of beauty. The slightly ivory white matte enamel is soft and remarkably highlights the beautiful decor covering the entire wall.

Technical description

Etienne HAJDU (1907-1996) – Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres

Roller vase in matte white enameled ceramic with abstract hollow decoration turning all around the vase. Signed “Hajdu” under the base, stamp “Manufacture Nationale- Décoré à Sèvres -AL” and “Sèvres 78 “, numbered in hollow “MJ.10.77.PN”.

Creation probably 1976, realization 1978.

A few very tiny scratches.

Dimensions and weight

Height: 22,5 cm – Diameter: 11,3 cm

Weight: 1kg

Mix & Match

This vase by Etienne Hajdu for the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres is a work of art, a support for meditation, a concrete object to which the Manufacture lends its highest quality of manufacturing.

As a result, it is precious, but its unique color and its obvious shape, the roller, make it timeless: certainly, its abstract decoration is very much anchored in Hajdu’s work and in the 1970s, but we can hardly put on a chest of drawers by Riesener, a desk by Jacob, a silver cabinet by Ruhlmann, a desk by Prouvé or a free-form table by Perriand!

For my part, I would gladly put it on the large desk of the Banque de France from the 1960s: it will end up giving an elegant and warm side to the walnut used!

Why not place it on Lodovico Acerbis’ bar table? Admittedly, it belongs to a more minimalist, more geometric universe than our vase-sculpture; but it has two steel cylinders which respond, with their metallic reflections, to the materiality of Hajdu’s creation, enhanced by matt white enamelled ceramic.

In the same way, we can have Edgard Pillet’s Composition in the same room: its geometric and colored abstraction can compete with the more dreamlike whiteness of our vase, show that abstract art is indeed plural but that what matters is designer quality!

I would also gladly put it on a shelf, better still a tablet, where I could take it in hand, to scrutinize what the sculptor wanted to tell us.

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To know more

The designer

István Hajdu, also known by the French surname Étienne Hajdú, born August 12, 1907 in Torda (current Turda) and died March 24, 1996 in Bagneux, is a French sculptor of Hungarian origin. István Hajdu was born in Transylvania, then in Austria-Hungary and currently in Romania to Hungarian parents.

After studying from 1923 to 1925 at the Professional Training School for the Wood Industry in Ujppest then, in 1926, for three months at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna-Austria, he came to Paris in October 1927 He was a student of Antoine Borudelle for nude drawing for six months at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, then of Paul Niclausse at the School of Decorative Arts until 1929. He discovered the works of Fernand Léger. In 1930, he became friends with Marie Elena Vieira da Silva and Arpad Szenes. Naturalized French, he completed his military service from 1931 to 1932 then made study trips to Holland in 1935, in 1937 to Greece and Crete where he was impressed by archaic and Cycladic sculpture. He follows Marcel Prenant’s biology course at the Workers’ University.

Étienne Hajdu exhibited in Paris in 1939 with Szenes and Vieira da Silva at the Jeanne Bucher gallery, which then regularly presented his work (1946, 1948, 1952, 1957). Mobilized during the Second World War and then demobilized, he worked in an aluminum factory near Tarascon and then in a marble factory in Bagnères de Bigorre. Back in Paris in 1945, he taught sculpture in 1947 at Fernand Léger’s studio and made his first reliefs in hammered copper in 1948. In 1950, he built his house-studio in Bagneux. In 1952, he introduced aluminum into his reliefs and in 1953-1954 created a large relief in hammered red copper for the Marseilleveyre high school. In 1956 he produced his first stamps.

Étienne Hajdu made a trip to the United States and Mexico in 1962. Among his numerous exhibitions in France and abroad, notably at the Knœdler gallery in New York (1958) and Paris (1963, 1965 and 1968), Étienne Hajdu exhibited in 1959 in Krefeld with Alicia Penalba, in 1973 with Juana Muller and Baltazar Lobo at the museums of Metz and Luxembourg. In 1961, a traveling exhibition presented his works in Germany at museums in Hanover, Dortmund, Kjetil Manheim and Leverkusen. The National Museum of Modern Art in Paris exhibited them in 1973 and 1979, the Callouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon in 1974. In 1978 and 1979, a traveling exhibition was organized in the museums of Dijon, Caen, Calais, Dunkirk, Bordeaux and Sochaux. Other exhibitions were presented at the Museum of Fine Arts in Reims in 1983, at the Museum of Modern Art in Toulouse in 1991, at the Fondation de Coubertin in Saint Rémy les Chevreuse in 1993.

Étienne Hajdu created between 1966 and 1976 a large number of decorations and shapes for the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres. He illustrates with stamps Règnes, poems by Pierre Lecuire (1961), Le Corps clairvoyant, poems by Jacques Dupin (1963), Héraclite, fragments translated by Clémence Ramnoux (1965), Ode à la neige, poem by Henri Pichette (1967), The Song of Vowels texts from the Egyptian Book of the Dead (1974). In 1969 he received the Grand Prize for Sculpture.

Hajdu died in Bagneux on March 24, 1996. His astrophysicist friends named Hajdu the asteroid 7316 discovered in 1973 and listed under number 3145 T.2 in Asteroids Ephemeris.

His works are kept in many international and French museums, as well as in the largest collections:


Essen, Folkwang Museum;

Möndchengladbatt, Abteiberg Museum.

United States

New York:

Museum of Modern Art;

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum;

San Francisco, Museum of Modern Art;

Washington, The Phillips Collection.


Bagneux, Étienne Hajdu residence: Nola, 1964, bronze with dark patina, 120 cm1;

Bernay, Museum of Fine Arts.

Dijon, Museum of Fine Arts;

Grenoble, Grenoble Museum;

Castle of Kerguéhennec;


National Museum of Modern Art;

Regional Contemporary Art Funds (FRAC) of Île-de-France (Le Plateau);

Périgueux, Périgord Art and Archeology Museum;

Saint Rémy les Chevreuse, Coubertin Foundation;

Sèvres- Manufacture et Musée Nationaux: decoration and/or creation of several hundred pieces, including a table service for the Presidency of the Republic. He invented a new decoration technique still used today;

Rennes, Regional Contemporary Art Fund of Brittany;

Vézelay, Zervos Museum – Romain Rolland House;


Athens, national art gallery.


Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts.


Luxembourg, Grand Duc Jean Museum of Modern Art.

North Macedonia:

Skopje, Skopje Museum of Contemporary Art.


Bucharest, National Art Museum of Romania

Work in the public space:

Paris, Uranus (1985), place Marcel Achard (19th)

The editor

The Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres is of course a great creation of the 18th century, continuing the Manufacture de Vincennes, first protected by the King then belonging entirely to him: since then, it has not ceased to produce what was best, widely copied abroad. Its strength is first of all able to make great artists work together, exceptional craftsmen who raise production to the heights of masterpieces, great chemists, capable of inventing new lands, new enamels… At the top of this pyramid, there are exceptional directors (we obviously think of Alexandre Brongniart in the 19th century), capable of uniting these energies, of attracting the great talents of the moment.

The beginning of the 20th century marked a new boom for Sèvres, illustrated by the diversification of technical processes and materials used. Agathon Léonard and Ytiga Noumata create sets of sculptures for Sèvres, still produced today in biscuit porcelain, whose inspirations and supple lines leave no doubt about the Art Nouveau influence in the production of Sèvres.

Then the creations of Henri Rapin, Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, mark the transition to Art Deco thanks to their refined forms.

In the 1950s, Sèvres tended to reinvent itself, mainly in sculpture and then in tableware. The decorations proposed for the table services are renewed, as illustrated by the decoration imagined by Paul Charlemagne for the French Embassy in Beijing in 1953, which connoisseurs can rediscover and acquire.

The list of artists includes Yacov Agam, Christian Astuguevielle, Geneviève Asse, Pierre Alechinsky, Vincent Barré, Louise Bourgeois, the Bouroullec brothers, Andrea Branzi, Alexandre Calder, Pierre Buraglio, Robert Couturier… to take the first 3 letters of the alphabet!

A beautiful and authentic sculpture-vase at a fair price

This sculpture vase has been carefully selected for its aesthetic qualities, its originality and its fair price. Our choice favors above all the acuity of the design, of which the signature of Etienne Hajdu is the guarantor, the quality of the realization, evident in this vase made by the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, pledges of a valorization of your new acquisition in your interior. and an ability to dialogue with your furniture, to match and mix to create a unique decoration.

Buying a work of art from the 1970s is surely a reasonable investment, so great is the appetite for these years.

Finally, buying a vintage work of art preserves the resources of planet earth: it was produced a long time ago.

Additional information
Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 11,3 × 22,5 cm




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Dominique de Paillerets is passionate about objects and art. He likes to combine Design furniture from the 70s and the 18th century, in the spirit Combining refinement and the spirit of the seventies

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