Very large Royal Vienna porcelain vase with mythological scenes

By Royal Vienna Porcelain Manufactory (Austrian, founded 1718)


Standing at over 1.5 metres, this incredible Royal Vienna vase is richly coloured, filled with vibrant decoration and mythological panelling.


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Crafted in Vienna in the 19th century by the Royal Porcelain Manufactory, this phenomenal vase is adorned with painted scenes of Greek mythology, that are surrounded by elaborate red and gilt decorative elements.

The vase is loosely of baluster form, sporting a lid that is surmounted by an ormolu pinecone finial. The frieze panels are set against a rich red ground - a rare and highly desirable feature for Royal Vienna vases. The red ground is beautifully contrasted by gilt decoration, which features geometric ‘meandros’ borders plus floral and foliate patterns reminiscent of acanthus leaves. Bird motifs can also be seen on the sides of the main body.

The two large central friezes on the obverse and reverse of the vase are both square in shape, and depict scenes from Greek mythology. The titles are engraved beneath the scenes in German, forming part of the elaborate gilt and vibrant blue border decoration of the friezes. On the obverse, the maker has depicted the ill-fated meeting of Hero, the priestess of Aphrodite, and Leander, who would swim across the Hellespont every night to visit her. On the reverse is the abduction of Europa, who was preyed upon by Zeus in the form of a bull. These scenes are expertly painted onto the porcelain, turning the vase into a true artistic masterpiece.

Smaller friezes adorn the sides, neck, and foot of the vase: the circular panels on the sides of the vase depict Hermione, daughter of Menelaus, with her son Tisamenus, and the goddess Flora. Additional friezes on the neck and foot include Cupid tying Aglaia to a tree, and a group of Bacchants with their typical symbols. As on the main body of the vase, foliate gilt decoration and inlay panels with bird motifs adorn the space between the friezes on the neck and foot.

A spectacular antique, this vase emphasises why Royal Vienna porcelain has a reputation for extraordinary craftsmanship and design.

Provenance: From the collection of the private museum of Sapporo Breweries Limited, Japan.


From the collection of the private museum of Sapporo Breweries Limited, Japan.


Artist / Maker
By Royal Vienna Porcelain Manufactory (Austrian, founded 1718)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
19th Century
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Porcelain
Gold, Multi-coloured, Red


152 cm / 59.8 inches
41 cm / 16.1 inches


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