List Price £35,000
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Picard, Henri (French, fl. 1831-1864) | Sèvres (French, founded 1738)
This beautiful garniture was created by the famous Sèvres porcelain factory, and mounted in ormolu by the official bronzier of Napoleon III, Henri Picard.
The garniture is comprised of a central urn, which is flanked by a pair of vases. The Sèvres porcelain urn is set on a square ormolu (gilt bronze) plinth, which is decorated with foliate motifs, draped fabrics, and pinecone finials. The plinth is placed on beaded toupie feet, some of which are signed ‘H. Picard’. The urn stands on a splayed ormolu foot, encircled with beading and a foliage wreath, and edged with a stiff leaf band. Its wide porcelain body is decorated with a continuous painting of nude putti and cherubs frolicking in the countryside. One putto holds a Thyrsus (a pinecone-tipped staff), suggesting the group are Bacchante: followers of Bacchus, the god of wine and ecstasy. Some cherubs ride a goat and others pull on its reigns. This painting is set within a parcel gilt and jewelled frame, against a ‘bleu celeste’ background. The urn’s ormolu neck is decorated with a guiolloche pattern and fitted with two ormolu geometric handles, which terminate in cherub masks.
The vases that accompany the urn are of similar design. Their porcelain ovoid bodies are set on ormolu plinths on toupie feet, identical in design to the urn. Some of these feet are signed 'H. Picard'. The vases' bodies are painted with scenes of cherubs playing in outdoor settings, within jewelled ‘bleu celeste’ borders. These paintings represent the Four Seasons: Spring is depicted by a group of putti dancing in a meadow, carrying flower garlands and wearing wreaths, and Summer by putti drinking wine and collecting grapes. Winter is represented by putti pushing a sleigh through a snowy landscape, and autumn by putti using sickles to reap crops. The vases are fitted with ormolu mouths and twin-handles, terminating in cherub heads. Their bodies are topped by pointed porcelain ‘bleu celeste’ lids, which are decorated with jewelled and parcel gilt bands, and crowned by ormolu grape cluster finials.
This beautiful three-piece garniture was crafted by the prestigious Sèvres factory, which was established in 1738 as the first producer of hard-paste porcelain in Europe. The company supplied porcelain to royalty and the nobility across the world. This garniture has been fitted with fine ormolu mounts, cast by the famous 19th-Century metalworker, Henri Picard.
Urn: Height 35cm, width 34cm, depth 28cm
Pair of vases: Height 46cm, width 22cm, depth 16cm
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