A SÈVRES PÂTE-SUR-PÂTE LARGE VASE, 'LE TOURNOI' 1888-89
vase 'Mycene' designed by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, decorated by Taxile Doat, embossed signature TDOAT, of inverted baluster form with a waisted neck and stepped integral foot, decorated in slip relief with a continuous band showing a procession of figures including knights and maidens in medieval costume on horseback, above, a band of fruit picked out in gilded dots reserving five molded 'Catherine Wheel' medallions, below, hanging lappets of acanthus and foliage in blue, all reserved on a ground enriched in gilt-dots forming circles or whorls, stencilled RF DECORE A SEVRES 89 within two circles in black, stencilled S.89 in a lozenge, incised AV 88 II PN.
Height 19½ in.
The vase is in overall good appearance and condition.
Very minor wear to gilding on rims.
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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Mr. Carabassa, purchased from the factory May 21, 1902 for 3,400 French francs
Christie's New York, April 21, 2005, lot 302
Carrier-Belleuse was appointed Art Director of the Sèvres manufactory in 1875, and Taxile Doat joined in 1877 when he was in his mid-twenties. Prior to this Doat had run his own small decorating atelier in Paris where he had already worked in pâte-sur-pâte.
The present vase was produced in a new ceramic body introduced just years earlier in 1882, 'pâte nouvelle', 'P N'. This new paste was much more suitable for the pâte-sur-pâte method of decoration than the traditional hard-paste body. Doat decorated a vase in this new material in 1882, Vase 'Potiche AB'. Due to its large size, standing one meter high, it took him, and his assistant Charles-Celéstin Lucas over a year to complete. The vase, given by the French Government to the South Kensington Museum, is illustrated in Bernard Bumpus, Pâte-sur-Pâte, The Art of Ceramic Relief Decoration, 1849-1992, London, 1992, pl. 17.
The figural decoration appears on a vase exhibited by the Sèvres manufactory in the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, which is reproduced in an engraving in The Pottery Gazette, May 1, 1889, p. 387, described as a 'Novi Vase', with subject as "mounted warrior" in paste relief and engraving composition and execution by M. T. Doat. New porcelain, white ground, illustrated in Bernard Bumpus, 1992, ibid., pl. 17.