Fierce and Fragile

Sensual, charming, savage—a new 35-piece collection of tableware from Hermès displays the ferociously realistic works of master wildlife artist Robert Dallet.

Grant Cornett; prop styling by Jojo Li
OF 4

Carnets d’Équateur, the new tableware collection from Hermès, displays jaguars slinking across dinner plates, spider monkeys prancing around teapots, and birds alighting on saucers. But these aren’t ordinary depictions; they’re the work of French artist Robert Dallet, who died in 2006 after a decades-long collaboration with Hermès on everything from wallpaper to scarves. “I’m not a painter. I don’t interpret; I study,” Dallet once said. “Right down to the texture of fur, the shape of a claw or a hoof, I am a scientist.” The house took great care to adapt his drawings to porcelain. “We had the help of Robert Dallet’s son, Frederic, who gave us advice on which animals we should mix,” says Benoît-Pierre Emery, creative director for tableware at Hermès. The resulting pieces, he adds, “complement each other in serene graphic and chromatic harmony.” The line is part of a celebration of Dallet’s career that Hermès is initiating this year, including a traveling show of his art and a new scarf to benefit the Robert Dallet Initiative for Wild Cat Conservation with the organization Panthera.