A Pair of Soft-Paste Sèvres Porcelain Bulb Vases, 1764

These are examples of the 4th size of this ‘vase Hollandois‘ made at Sèvres at first with straight-sided flared top sections and then ‘nouveaux‘ also with the expanding profile of these examples.  The base section was to contain water and the inserted upper section soil with bulbs growing in that, with holes to enable the water to feed the bulbs.

These are decorated with elaborately painted scenes after images by the painter François Boucher over the bold turquoise-blue (bleu céleste) ground colour.  The ground colour is lavishly applied across the rear sides of these vases, to be seen in a mirrror perhaps.  

The figures are taken from the left and right side of the first of a series of four engravings by Claude Duflos after François Boucher, called Les Amours Pastorales [see Jean-Richard 929].  Each engraving is accompanied by a poem signed Favart.  The first line of this one reads: ‘Ce pasteur amoureux chante sur sa musette…‘.

Another engraving from this set was used as the inspiration for the decoration on a Vase Hollandois in the Wallace Collection (C222).  According to the Wallace catalogue, the set of four engravings were purchased by the factory in 1764, the year that our vases were produced (p. 91, note 66).

Height 19cm
Width 15.4cm
Depth 12.8cm

11387

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, then to his companion the Comtesse d'Aubigny, sold Christie's, London, 21 June 1976, lot 172. Mrs. John W. Christner, Dallas, Texas. Sold Christie's, New York, 30 November - 1 December 1979, lot 193.

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