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Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Vase cygne à roseau en buire
XQG 1988 21
XQGS 1979 21
These vases are among the most extravagant ever put into production at Sèvres, and are formed entirely of hard-paste porcelain, fashioned to simulate the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli and gilt bronze mounts.
The sculptural elements are decorated in two tones of green and yellow gold, with the handle and mouth in the form of a swan and bulrushes sprouting from a rocky base. The accomplished rendering of the ground colour was achieved by a sophisticated process of applying layers of light tones of blue to convey the subtle gradations of true lapis lazuli.
This is one of only two pairs of this version known to survive today.
Text adapted from French Porcelain for English Palaces, Sèvres from the Royal Collection, London, 2009