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ref : 1515

“SEVRES”

Architecture and Music Vases

France
Circa 1880

Height : 31,5 cm (12,4 in.) ; Width : 18 cm (7,1 in.)

Fine pair of baluster-shaped “Sèvres” porcelain vases.

Gracefully decorated with a golden net mesh, enamelled pearls crimped at the centre, on turquoise background.

The body is ornated with delicately painted medallions in hunting and architecture theme.

A fine ornament of gilded bronze with Louis XVI foliage and love style complements this beautiful set.


Background

The Manufacture de Sèvres, factory of soft-paste porcelain, was founded in 1738 at Vincennes by bankers and financiers hoping to discover the secret of making hard-paste porcelain, used in Meissen at the time. In 1753, King of France Louis XV became the main shareholder of the factory, transferring it to Sèvres, closer to Versailles and the castle of Bellevue, owned by la Marquise de Pompadour, very interested by Sèvres’ research and supportive of the works. In 1759, the King became the sole shareholder of the Manufacture, making it the property of the French Crown. From this day on, the Sèvres artworks were marked with the royal seal, two intertwined “L’s”, as well as a letter indicating the year of creation.

The period between 1756 and 1779 represents the most prosperous years for the factory. To support Sèvres, Louis XV made sumptuous orders offered as diplomatic presents. The main artists at the time, such as painters Boucher and Bachelier or sculptors Falconet and Boizot, worked for the factory. Research on the making of hard-paste porcelain kept going and succeeded after 1769. From this year, Sèvres successfully produced both soft-paste and hard-paste porcelain. It is also during this period that the most beautiful and singular colours were invented: bleu lapis in 1752, bleu celeste in 1753, green in 1756, famous pink in 1757 and royal blue in 1763.

The most significant pieces are ornamented with scenes inspired by engravings from famous painters (Boucher) and ornamentalists. They are also decorated with garlands, bunches of flowers, trophies, gildings… The fine quality of Sèvres’ production covers a large range of statuettes (Falconet’s threatening Love), full services (Rambouillet’s service is presented to Marie-Antoinette in 1788), as well as utilitarian or ornamental items. The role played by haberdashers in the production’s development is essential. They originated trends around Sèvres-designed products, such as Daguerre who decorated his most precious furniture with porcelain plates.

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