Lot 123
  • 123


80,000 - 120,000 EUR
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  • porcelain, gilt-bronze
  • Haut. 38 cm., larg. 30,5 cm., prof. 20 cm. ; Height 15 in., width 12 in., depth 8 in.
the vase with a gallantry scene of a couple in a parc, and a couple playing Blind man's bluff, on an embossed blue and yellow flowers background, the mounts and handles with foliate scrolls


Collection of the late Vicomtesse Vigier, sale palais Galliera, Paris, Me Rheims, 2 and 3 June 1970, lot 79


Literature references:
- L. H. Roth, French Eighteenth-Century Porcelain at the Wadsworth Atheneum, 2000, n° 59, pp. 103-108
- F. J. Watsonn, The Wrightsman collection, vol. II, New York, 1956, n°267, A-B, pp. 474-475


The illustration of the catalogue is accurate. The porcelain : good overall condition. The mounts : Good overall condition. Beautiful design. There are some minor rubbed areas and black stains to the gilding. Impressive vase with nice quality of chasing.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Meissen Maïblumen porcelains with “à la manière de Watteau” cartouches The gallant scenes on our vase often described generally during the 18th century as “à la manière de Watteau” are directly inspired by Jean-Baptiste Patter’s artworks. Le colin-maillard (“Blind Man’s Bluff” housed in the Wallace Collection, London) and Le baiser rendu (“The Kiss Returned” housed at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon, USA). This type of porcelain with a ground of relief forget-me-nots and cartouches is relatively rare as pointed out by F. J. Watson (The Wrightsman Collection, Vol II, New York, 1966, no. 267, A-B, pp. 474-475).
Correlated objects kept in the largest collections:
- a pair of ewers, Wallace Collection, London
- accessory set of three vases at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
- a pair of vases, Huntington Collection, California, inv. 27.25 and 26
- a pair of potpourris, Wrightsman collection at the Metropolitan Museum, inv. 1971-353-1
- a pair of potpourris, Cleveland Museum of Art, J. H. Wade donation, inv. 44.229 and 230
- a bouquet potpourri auctioned in Paris, Etude Fraysse and Associates, 9 April 2014, lot 153
- “la garniture Beaujon”, comprising a vase from the Riahi collection, auction Christie's New York, 2 November 2000, lot 16 and one pair of potpourri vases from the Dillée collection, auction Sotheby's Paris, 18-19 March, 2015 , lot 71.

The connection with the five vases bought by the Marquise de Pompadour at Lazare Duvaux for the library at Château de Crécy

The Marquise de Pompadour possessed Meissen porcelains of this type mounted in gilt bronze, as attested by the Livre-Journal de Lazare Duvaux (sales register), which he sold on 1 September 1750 « Un pot-pourri de Saxe peints de sujets de Watteau, garni en bronze doré d’or moulu pour 120 livres » (One potpourri from Saxony painted with Watteau subjects, enhanced with gilt bronze of ground gold for 120 livres) followed by in June 1752 for the second room of the Château de Crécy’s library: 1138.« Quatre vases égaux de porcelaine de Saxe à fleurs de relief, avec des cartouches de miniatures, montés en bronze doré d’or moulu, à 475 livres, 1900 livres- Un autre vase, même porcelaine, 520 livres » (Four vases also of Saxony porcelain with relief flowers, miniature cartouches, mounted in gilt bronze of ground gold for 475 livres, 1900 livres - Another vase, same porcelain, 520 livres).

It is precisely this last mention which draws our attention, the four égaux vases could correspond to the two pairs at the Cleveland Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of New York City. Moreover, our presented vase links to l'autre vase, même porcelaine. Executed in 1764, the inventory after the marquise’s death states that she owned at the Hôtel d’Evreux, currently Elysée Palace, "une garniture de cinq pièces de porcelaine de Saxe, miniature à cartouche, fond doré par le pied" (a five-piece accessory set of Saxony porcelain miniature with cartouche, gilt ground along bases).

As we have suggested, this type of porcelain was mainly intended to be mounted in gilt bronze, certainly under the notions of decorative arts dealer like C. Sargentson. This theory was confirmed by writings in Livre Journal de Lazare Duvaux. This decorative art dealer collaborated with the bronze artist Jean-Claude Duplessis (1695-1774) who might be the creator of the mounting. In fact, « Le marquis [d’Argenson] achetoit furtout chez Duvaux de la porcelaine Céladon garnie de pieds & d montures de bronze doré ; Plus fouvent, poffeffeur de pièces de choix, il chargeoit Duvaux de les monter. Celui-ci le mit en rapport avec le célèbre modeleur Dupleffis, qui, attaché à la manufacture de sèvres, a donné fon nom à une forme de faves et d’affiettes » (The marquis [d'Argenson] bought mostly at Duvaux Celadon porcelain, furnished with gilt bronze feet and mountings; More often, owning quality items, he commissioned Duvaux to place mountings. He put him in touch with the famous modeler Duplessis, who, attached to the Sèvres Manufactory, gave his name to a shape of vases and plates).

Aside from this link between Duvaux and Duplessis, several objects cited above have the same stylistic characteristics, which are themselves often associated with the bronze artist through the vase Duplessis (see L.H. Roth, French Eighteenth-Century Porcelain at the Wadsworth Atheneum, 2000, no. 59, pp. 103-108).