Sèvres hard paste porcelain pair of vases. Painted in mottled pink with gold and white registers decorated with polychrome arabesques, front and reverse, with octagonal reserves painted with mythological scenes, gilt bronze mounts include collar, base cap and base, fitted into leaf cup, small foliate handles and a pair of draped female figures of Victory, circular stem and foot mounted on square base.
The imitation porphyry ground colour on these vases (fond porphyre) is decorated with octagonal reserves depicting mythological figures on the front and back of each vase. Some of these figures may derive from drawings attributed to Jean-Jacques Lagrenée le jeune (1739-1821) and engravings after Jean-Michel Moreau le jeune published in abbé Banier’s translation of Ovid’s Métamorphoses (1767-71).
Unusually, in order to accommodate the gilt bronze winged figures of Victory, the body of the vase has been transformed and lengthened by the addition of a false bottom in metal, painted to simulate the porcelain ground colour. No other Sèvres vase of this shape is known.
Text adapted from French Porcelain for English Palaces, Sèvres from the Royal Collection, London, 2009
Purchased in Paris for George IV by Jean-Baptiste Watier in 1816, the vases were entered by Benjamin Jutsham in his receipts’ ledger on 30 November 1816: ‘Part of Mr Watiers Purchases brought from Paris A Pair of Seve Porcelaine Vases, Gold Ground, beautifully Painted in Birds & Flowers, an Octagon Compartment on Each side the Vases in which are Painted various Figures, they are Mounted with Winged Metal Gilt Female Figures for handles, the lower part mounted in Or Molu in Leaves & Ivy Branches, Square Gilt Metal Plinths, the whole height 25 Inches’.
On 27 July 1824 they were despatched to The Kings Lodge.