Pair of massive Meissen porcelain flower-encrusted potpourri vases

By Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (German, founded 1710)


Intricately mounted and painted with flowers, insects and Rococo style genre scenes, these vases are masterpieces, demonstrative of the best of German porcelain.


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Charming, playful, and featuring an exceptionally intricate naturalistic and figurative design, these marvellous vases were made in the late 19th century by Meissen, the oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe.  

The lids are extensively applied with rows of flowers, in between which vibrant green foliage peeks through. Each flower individually made and applied creates the illusion of a real bouquet surmounting the two vases. The lower part of the lids is pierced and detailed with rocaille motifs in shades of pale pinks and blues, with gilt detailing. Further floral mounts adorn the pierced surface, the base of the lids terminating with a round, gilt border.

The large baluster-shaped body of each vase features exceptionally well-painted Rococo style genre scenes set in woodland. The first vase portrays a female surrounded by two male figures. All are dressed in typical 18th century garments. A couple, with the male embracing the lady, is seen on the second vase, accompanied by a lady in a reclined position holding a basket full of flowers. Both the colour palettes and topics on each painting, are in line with the overarching themes portrayed by other decorative features on these superb Meissen vases.

The sides feature a large pale blue rocaille handle decorated with mounted and painted flowers. A winged putto adorns the lower part of it, its body facing towards the front of the vases. Only clothed in a flowing bright blue cloth, the figures on each vase are identically shaped. Each side is framed by richly mounted flowers, foliage, and butterflies. The pieces are superbly sculpted and painted, demonstrating the highest quality craftsmanship executed by the Meissen porcelain manufactory.

The reverse is painted with a bouquet, each vase with a slightly different composition. The colour palette of each is in harmony with the shades of mounted porcelain flowers, creating a cohesive design.

Decorating the base of both vases, are mounted porcelain female figures. Both figures are similar in shape, their body extending around the vase, and reaching forward with a basket full of flowers. A delicate mono-coloured cloth covers some of their body, while a wreath of flowers hangs across their shoulders. Their hair is intricately painted, with strands of hair clearly visible and decorated with flowers. Further flowing shapes and forms adorn the bottom, and a single scarab is mounted alongside the female figures, creating continuity between the various parts of both pieces.

The vase stands are supported by four scrolled feet mounted with carefully executed flowers and butterflies. Each side is decorated with floral compositions and Rococo style genre scenes. Painted in an identical colour palette to the main body and lids, the top surface of the base features painted flowers and butterflies. Its design includes a raised lip, ensuring the vases’ secure positioning.

A very similar pair of vases, without bases sold at Sotheby's Paris in 2021, for €252,000. The present work is signed to the base with Meissen’s famous blue crossed sword mark and incised ‘B.C’.

This pair of outstanding Meissen porcelain vases are a demonstration of the highest quality porcelain work and would make a superb addition to the appropriate interior space.


Artist / Maker
By Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (German, founded 1710)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Animal / Animalier, Floral, Genre, Meissen, Rococo
Gilt, Porcelain
Gold, Green, Multi-coloured, Orange, Pink, White


89 cm / 35 inches
44 cm / 17.3 inches
33 cm / 13 inches


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