Pair of large Sèvres-style porcelain and ormolu Napoleonic vases


Standing at an impressive height, these porcelain vases are superb decorative works, adorned with painted scenes of Napoleonic battles.


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These vases have been crafted in the elegant Sèvres style. They combine intricate, hand-painted scenes, which depict vignettes of Napoleon’s victories, with superb ormolu decorative mounts. Aside from the content of the painted scenes, the vases are identical.

Of inverted ovoid form, the main bodies are decorated with continuous paintings of battles from the Napoleonic wars, encouraging the vases to be viewed from all angles. Both vases depict moments of decisive victory for Napoleon and his troops: one portrays the Battle of Wagram (1809), when Napoleon I’s troops defeated the Austrian army in what was the largest battle in European history to date. The second depicts the Battle of Friedland (1807), where the armies of the Russian Empire were defeated by Napoleon. In both, Napoleon himself can be seen on horseback, surveying the fighting from on high or giving orders to his troops.

The vases are topped by elegant waisted ‘bleu lapis’ (navy) necks, which are parcel gilt with the French Imperial Eagle that adorned Napoleon’s battle standards. Both vases are surmounted by domed ‘bleu lapis’ lids: these are decorated with crowned ‘N’s’ (for Napoleon I) that are flanked by oak and laurel branches, symbolising French victory. The lids are topped with ormolu pinecone finials.

The vases stand on splayed ‘bleu lapis’ feet, which feature further gilt decoration including laurel wreaths, anthemions, swags, and draperies. Engraved into the gilt are key dates of Napoleon’s reign. The vases are set on square ormolu plinths with canted corners, decorated with further classical wreaths, anthemion motifs, and beading.

The underside of each vase is marked 'M. Imple de Sevres’, alongside individual marks of ‘Wagram, 1809' and 'Friedland 1807' respectively, denoting the battles depicted. Both painted bodies are signed by the artist ‘H. Desprez, Sèvres'.

With their scenes rendered with significant painterly skill, this decorative pair are a true work of art, fitting for any Napoleonic collector.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Equestrian / Horses, Figurative Art, History Painting, Militaria / Military, Napoleonic, Sèvres
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Porcelain


96 cm / 37.8 inches
33 cm / 13 inches


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