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Lidded Vase

Date: ca. 1770
19 x 7 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. (48.3 x 18.4 x 16.5 cm.)
Medium: soft-paste porcelain, overglaze dark blue ground color, polychrome enamel decoration, gilding
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection.
Marks: Incised marks: cd; Duveen label: 27387
Inscription: Incised marks: cd; Duveen label: 27387
Object Number: 27.33B
Label Text:The name for this model, vase à pied de globe, refers to the lower section that is in the form of a globe stand. That term appears in the Sèvres documents once in 1769, the same year in which the first examples of vases made in this form are known (although the shape may have been introduced the previous year). The model was made in three sizes, this pair being of the smallest size, which also seems to be the most common. A simplified version of the shape was introduced in about 1774. A plaster model survives at the Sèvres manufactory with a similar silhouette but without the globe stand base and with Chinese heads at the sides. This plaster model is catalogued in an inventory of 1814 with the title vase chinois, however no surviving examples are known of this model with the Chinese heads. The title vase chinois also appears in the eighteenth-century documents; it is unclear, however, to which shape this term applies. The vase à pied de globe model may have been referred to by both terms in the eighteenth century and the shape was frequently described as a vase chinois from the nineteenth century.
The vases are decorated with an overglaze turquoise-blue (bleu céleste) ground color and painted in oval, colored reserves of equal size on the front and back of each vase. The front reserves are edged with a broad tooled gilded band flanked by sprays of oak leaves. The back reserves are edged with a broad tooled gilded band surrounded by a narrower tooled band.
This example is of the second largest size. It is decorated with an overglaze dark blue ground color and painted in a colored oval reserve on the front with a quayside scene of figures in Arab costume-a standing older figure giving direction to a younger man kneeling beside a package and bundle and with other laborers represented in the background. The back has a white reserve of the same size and shape as that on the front, painted in polychrome with a spray of flowers. Both reserves are edged with a gilded frame in the pattern of cattails (?) tied by a ribbon bow at the base. The blue is decorated with a gilded pattern of a large dot encircled by a ring of smaller dots known as oeil de perdrix.
At the time it was acquired, the vase was inventoried as a pair or companion piece with another vase à pied de globe in the collection, see cat. 90. Although the vases are not a pair, the reserves on the fronts and backs of both appear to have been painted by the same artists-one artist such as Jean-Baptiste-Etienne Genest (active 1752-1789) painting the figural scene on the fronts and another, an unidentified flower painter, decorating the back reserves.
Harbor scenes were introduced at Sèvres in the 1760s and quickly became associated with Jean-Louis Morin (1732-1787) (see cat. 89), although other painters such as Genest, Charles-Eloi Asselin (1743-1804), and Charles-Nicolas Dodin (1734-1803) are known to have painted similar subjects. The scene on this vase has traditionally been attributed to Morin; however, the figures do not appear consistent with his style and must be by one of the other leading figure painters at Sèvres. This example is notable in that the figures are dressed in what was considered Turkish costume, a manifestation of the vogue for la turquerie at the time.
A comparable scene is found on the front reserve of a vase à pied de globe at the Victoria and Albert Museum. It has the same ground color and patterns of gilded decoration, and the back reserve is decorated with a similar spray of flowers, The V&A vase has a replacement lid and pedestal that differ from the original eighteenth-century model. It is possible that the two vases were originally conceived as a pair. If that were the case, they may have entered separate collections before the end of the eighteenth century. The replacement pieces on the V&A example indicate that there was no knowledge of a pair at the time the new parts were made as they do not copy the original design, and the Huntington vase was apparently acquired singly by Sir Henry Fetherstonhaugh at Uppark in the early nineteenth century. A drawing of the vase in an "Inventory and sketch of sundry Sèvres Vases etc. now at Uppark" of 1859 is inscribed underneath, "Cost 500£ in 1810." This detail cannot be confirmed in the existing bills associated with Uppark; nevertheless, it is assumed that the vase was acquired by Sir Henry around that time. The drawing shows the vase with a simple square stand with a laurel wreath securing the foot of the pedestal. The vase is described with such a gilt-bronze stand in a list from 1910 of items sold to the London firm of Partridge in 1911. The vase was subsequently sold to Henry Huntington through Duveen. It was fitted with a more elaborate gilt-bronze stand (since removed) by Duveen to match the other vase à pied de globe that also came to the Huntington through him (cat. 90).

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