List Price £45,000
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The porcelain vases are set on square ormolu (gilt bronze) bases with canted corners. These bases are decorated with classical wreaths, arrow quivers, burning torches, anthemion motifs and beading. The vases stand on splayed feet which are ‘bleu lapis’ (navy) in colour and are finely parcel gilt with laurel wreaths, anthemions, swags, and draperies featuring key dates in Napoleon’s time as Emperor of France.
Above, the vases feature ovoid bodies which are decorated with continuous paintings of battles from the Napoleonic Wars. One vase depicts the Battle of Austerlitz (also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors), when Napoleon I’s army defeated the Russian and Austrian troops, led by Emperor Alexander I and the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The second vase portrays the Battle of Jena when Napoleon triumphed over Frederick William III’s Prussian army. These paintings are signed ‘H Desprez / Sevres’.
The vases are topped by waisted ‘bleu lapis’ necks which are parcel gilt with the French Imperial Eagle. This eagle featured on the standard that was carried into battle by Napoleon’s Grande Armée during the Napoleonic Wars. The vases are covered by domed ‘bleu lapis’ lids, decorated with gilt crowned ‘N’s (for Napoleon I) flanked by oak and laurel branches, symbolising victory. The lids are topped by ormolu (gilt bronze) pinecone finials.
One vase is signed ‘Austerlitz’ and the other ‘Jena’. The items bear the marks of the ‘M. Imp’le de Sèvres’.
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