A Pair of important vases from the imperial manufacture of Sèvres


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A Pair of important vases from the imperial manufacture of Sèvres, Empire Period, 1813

Empire period, 1812,
Height: cm 55

Red stamp beneath the base: eagle / Imperial Manufacture of Sèvres; in green: 13 av. 12


Acquired in 1816 by Louis XVIII, King of France (1755–1824)

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An important pair of  Sèvres “fuseau” vases, second size, in porcelain with a beau bleu ground and gold and platinum decoration in the shape of woven ribbons framing flowers surrounded by rosettes, palmettes and acanthus leaf arabesques and knurled motifs; the inside of the neck is in gold.

The base, neck and pedestal are adorned with gilt bronze chased in the shape of a dolphin surmounted by a small palmette, and the waterleaft support and square base are also in gilt bronze.

The “fuseau” vase, inspired by the amphorae of the ancient world and designed for the Manufacture of Sèvres in 1800 by the architect Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, the father of works director Alexandre Brongniart, was hugely successful. It was made in four sizes and was decorated with painted portraits, period figures or ornaments. The gilt bronze handles were altered at various different times in the course of the 19th century.

Our vases, made during the First Empire, entered the Manufacture of Sèvres shop to be sold on 22 March 1816 with the following description: 2 vases Fuseaux 2° [grandeur] fond beau blu riche decor en or et platine anses et coulot en bronze (Arch. MNS register Vv 1 folio 61, n. 40) (2 fuseau vases 2nd size beau bleu ground with rich decoration in gold and platinum, handles and support in bronze).

According to the description in the Sèvres Archive registers matching our vases, they were selected and purchased by King Louis XVIII (1755–1824) for 1,800 francs when he visited the manufacture on 26 June 1816 (Arch. MNS register Vbb 5 folio 10 verso). They appear in the register after the purchase of a pair of 2 “fuseau” vases with a platinum ground with rich Colorié ornaments and bronze now in the Musée du Louvre (OA11089 / 90). Our vases are registered as: 2 id. même forme fond beau bleu. Ornements très soignés en or et platine (2 id. same shape with very fine beau bleu ground. Meticulous decorations in gold and platinum).

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