Lot 15
  • 15

A pair of gilt-bronze-mounted Chinese crackle glaze celadon pot-pourri vases the mounts Louis XV, mid 18th century, the porcelain 18th century

800,000 - 1,200,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Chinese porcelain and gilt-bronze
  • Total height: 40cm., diameter 41cm. (including handles); 1ft. 3¾in., 1ft. 4in.
each formed from two bowls with crackle glaze of light blue colour, the lid with a finial cast in the form of a stalk, the gilt-bronze pierced rim cast with acanthus below gadroons, centred by flowerheads and foliage, the scrolled handles cast with leaves, supported on a gilt-bronze base cast with rinceaux, flowers and rocailles; one stamped with the Crown 'c' poinçon; restorations to the porcelain, both lids with slightly different crackle glaze (2)


Maître Couturier Nicolay, Paris, 10th December 1980, lot 74
Christie's, Monaco, 5th December 1992, lot 93
Dimitri Mavrommatis Collection, Paris

Catalogue Note

Comparative Literature
Lunsingh Scheurleer, Chinesisches und Japanisches Porzellan in Europäischen Fassungen, Würzburg, 1980, pages 267, 322-3
Pierre Verlet, 'Les Bronzes Dores Francais du XVIIIe siecle', Paris, 1987, page 127
F. J. B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, Vol. II, Greenwich, 1966, pages 436-7
F.J.B. Watson, Gillian Wilson, Mounted Oriental Porcelain in the J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 1999, pages 66-71
Geoffrey de Bellaigue, The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddeson Manor: Furniture, Clocks, and Gilt Bronzes, Vol. II, London, 1974, pages 752-753

This magnificent and sumptuous pair of vases belong to a group of related pots-pourri which exist with the same gilt-bronze mounts, (some with different finials-see post) usually bearing the Crown 'c' poinçon mark (which was a tax mark in use between 1745-49 on any alloy containing copper), and which would date some of the related models to this period. Several mounted celadon vases appear in the inventory of the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux (who specialised in the sale of luxury goods), but their entries are too vague to be able to recognize any of them (see A. Pradere's note to lot 68, Sotheby's, Monaco, 14th December 1996). Nor is it possible to prove that any of these bronzes were made by the great bronziers of the time such as Thomas Germain, Caffieri or Saint-Germain.
There are a number of related pots-pourris known, (see following list) some of different form (globular instead of dome shaped) and various types of porcelain.

1. Formerly in the George Byng collection, Wrotham Park, Hertfordshire, sold Christie's, London, 10th December 1992, lot 213. A pair of pots-pourris (h. 42cm, diam. 38cm) struck with the Crown 'c' poinçon five times on one and four on the other.

2. Collection of Colonel and Madame Jacque Balsan, Christie's, London, 30th May 1968, lot 27, sold for 14.000 Gns.; then Galerie Aveline, Paris, 1984; sold Sotheby's, Paris, 9th April 2008, lot 98, for 1,426,973 EUR (see Fig.2)

3. Chester Beatty collection, then Partridge, London, (see L. Scheurleer, (op.cit.) p.322, fig. 301. A pair of pot-porris (h. 27cm).

4-5-6. L. Scheurleer, (op. cit.), p.323, fig. 304, a celadon pot-pourri (h. 30.7cm) and p.267, fig. 186, a polychrome enamelled vase and cover in the California Palace of the Legion of Honour, California. Also see The Wallace Collection, London for a pair of pot-pourris, illustrated by L. Scheurleer, (op. cit.), p.267, fig. 185.

7. A pair of Japanese lacquer bowls reputedly from the collection of Madame du Pompadour at the Château de Bellevue and now in the Louvre, illustrated by P. Verlet, (op. cit.), p.127, fig. 165, (Louvre cat. C.Dr. no 412).

8. A pot-pourri in the Wrightsman Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, F.J.B. Watson, (op. cit.), pp.436-7, no. 246

9. Christie's, London, 9th June 1994, lot 34. A single pot-pourri in red and turquoise flambé glaze from the collection of Sir Julius Wernher Bt., Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire ( 44.5cm) struck once with the crown 'c' poinçon.

10. F.J.B. Watson, Mounted Oriental Porcelain, Exhibition Catalogue, Washington, 1986, p.72-73, no. 22 , a pair of lidded jars in the Frick Collection, New York City (15.8.41; 15.8.42).

12. A single celadon pot-pourri, illustrated by F.J.B. Watson & G. Wilson, (op. cit.), pp.66-71, no. 13. It is of similar form to the present pair, with identical central pierced band, the finial is in the form of a spray of leaves and flowers. The Getty pot-porri's mounts have the crown 'c'. (see Fig. 3)

13. A pair of pots-pourris (h. 37cm, diam., 38cm ) in grey-green porcelain with crackled glaze and the Crown 'c' poinçon struck in six places on one, and five places on the other. They have an identical rim mount on the vase and the base mount is very similar (see G. de Bellaigue, (op. cit.), pp.752-753, no. 196).

14. A pair of crackled glaze pots-pourris, with Crown 'c' poinçon, sold from the collection of the late A.C.J. Wall, Christie's, London, 26th November 1970, lot 12.

15. A pair of similar gilt-bronze mounted Chinese celadon pots-pourris vases, sold Sotheby's, Paris, The Léon Lévy Collection, 2nd October 2008, lot 21, for 1,016,750 EUR

It is not inconceivable that all the above mentioned vases have been mounted by the same Parisian bronziers at the end of the 1740's. The fact that certain vases do not bear the Crown 'c' (since all must have been marked) leads one to conclude that they must have been completed after 1749 after the repeal of the tax), but using certain earlier bronzes already marked made within the period of the tax.