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By Mourey, Philippe H. (French, 1840-1910)
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Both vases stand on splayed gilt metal feet, edged around their tops with beading, and ovolo mouldings around their bases. Their stems are decorated with down-turned leaves, alternating with clusters of berries. These feet are set on square gilt metal bases, with shaped, cantered corners.
The vase bodies are modelled on classical kraters, with broad upper bodies and wide mouths. The tapered lower bodies are decorated with fluting, and, above, their fronts are mounted with oval-shaped porcelain plaques. These are painted with depicitions of young women playing the tambourine and dancing. The women wear sheer, light pink dresses, which cling to their curvaceous bodies. They wear scarves which loop around their bodies, appearing to move as they dance. These figurative paintings are set within oval-shaped gilt, foliate borders, set against royal blue coloured grounds. The porcelain plaques are mounted with oval gilt metal frames, topped by crinkled ribbon bows.
Each vase is fitted with two gilt metal handles, which take the form of grape vines, terminating in clusters of ripe grapes.
The wide, fluted vase mouths are topped by gilt metal lids. Each is edged with ovolo patterns, and surmounted by two classical gilt metal putti, one of whom holds a chalice, and the other a handful of grapes. On each, a swag of roses is draped between them. The lids are topped by classical female bust sculptures.
'PH Mourey' is stamped onto the vase bases. Philippe H. Mourey was a master French sculptor, who produced a range of decorative art objects in the late 19th Century. His work often combines painted porcelain panels with gilt metal mounts, as seen in this piece. Mourey’s work can be viewed in major art collections today, including the Royal Collection Trust in London.
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