List Price £150,000
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Style of Sèvres (French, founded 1738)
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This impressively large Sèvres style porcelain vase is ovoid in shape and is mounted with beautifully cast ormolu (gilt bronze) elements. The ormolu base of the vase is highly ornate: square in structure with canted corners, the base is mounted with a variety of ormolu forms, including scrolling acanthus leaves, emblemed shields, draped fabric, and hanging tassels. Supported by this base, the porcelain socle of the vase culminates in an ormolu foliate mount, which in turn supports the body of the vase. The porcelain ground of the socle, body, neck, and lid of the vase is finished in a beautiful royal blue.
The body of the vase features two large cartouches, bounded by scrolling gilt borders. Inside the cartouche on the front of the vase is painted a typically 18th Century Rococo style scene in subdued, pastel shades of baby blue, yellow, pink, and green. The picture portrays two seated women approached by a standing male suitor in a classicised landscape and is signed ‘Poitevin’ lower left. The cartouche on the reverse contains a painted landscape executed in a complementary Rococo style: a large castle looms in the background by a lake, while a copse of trees frames the scene to the left. The blue-ground porcelain neck of the vase is decorated with scrolling and classicising gilt forms. The neck is topped by a similarly decorated lid, which is surmounted by an elaborate ormolu finial composed of courting birds atop their nest.
From the ormolu foliate mount that surmounts the socle spring twin handles. Each handle is elaborately formed from an acanthus leaf wrapped column, upon which is supported a lyre with hybridised arms—like Daphne, the arms of the lyre turn to foliage. Behind each lyre-topped handle, seated on the shoulder of the vase, is an ormolu putto. The entire composition is entirely Rococo in feeling and execution, being playful yet distinctly Classical.
The vase stands on a beautifully cast ormolu stand, which dates from the 21st Century and has been designed after a 19th Century wooden original. The stand, raised on four bun feet, is supported by four scrolling cabriole legs with beaded edges. The top of the stand, upon which the base of the vase sits, is formed of lapis lazuli, which perfectly complements the vase's blue porcelain ground.
The following French inscription is written on the interior of the base: 'Offert par le duc de Rohan à la duchesse de Choiseul', or, in English, ‘Offered by the Duke of Rohan to the Duchess of Choiseul’. The vase is marked underglaze with interlaced 'L's.
Vase: Height 146cm, width 57cm, depth 45cm
Pedestal: Height 65cm, width 44cm, depth 44cm
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