A Hard-Paste Sèvres Porcelain Flower Vase, 1784

With the factory mark in gilding under a crown for hard paste enclosing the date-letters GG for 1784;  adjacent painter’s mark for Nicolas Schradre (active at Sèvres 1773-85).

This is a flower vase (cuvette Courteille, 2nd size) of a shape made from the 1750s in soft-paste porcelain which maintained its’ commercial popularity for 30 years or so and was documented to have been made in hard-paste porcelain by 1776.  The decoration is fascinating for being covered in such a lavish area of deep bleu nouveau ground colour overlaid with flecks of gilding to imitate lapis lazuli.  The unusually contained circular reserve shows an exotic chinoiserie scene and the U-shaped reserve below has exotic flowers – it is a very adventurous scheme.

The factory overtime ledgers record that Schradre was paid 216 livres for painting three cuvettes with a lapis ground and flowers in April 1784 which is very likely to be this vase and its’ matching companions.  In 1884 this was sold as part of a garniture of three matching vases (see below) but intruiginly in neither 1784 nor 1884 were the sizes of the three vases were listed so we cannot tell if this piece is the largest between two of the third size or one of two of the second size matched to another larger one of the first size.

The garniture can be identified in the kiln records on 27 April 1784, where they are described as ‘3 cuvettes fond Lapis chinois et or Schradre‘.

The only mention in the sales registers at around this time of three cuvettes together is a sale to Louis XVI on 4 January 1785 of a garniture of three, with two costing 108 livres each, and one costing 240 livres however a vase of this scale might have cost more at that time.

From the 1884 sale catalogue we know that this cuvette formed part of a garniture of three.  The 3rd Marquess of Donegall (born 1797) had a political career, as well as being a substantial landowner and died in 1883 so this was sold the following year from his collection.  The 4th Marquess (1799-1889), a younger brother of the 3rd Marquess, was a clergyman who only survived his older brother by six years.  He did not inherit much of the 3rd Marquess’s estate which passed to the latter’s daughter who had become the Countess of Shaftesbury.

Height 14.8cm
Width 25.3cm
Depth 13cm

11386

£ 110,000

 

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