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Lidded Vase

Date: ca. 1780 and later
14 1/2 x 6 3/8 x 6 1/8 in. (36.8 x 16.2 x 15.6 cm.)
Medium: soft-paste porcelain, overglaze turquoise-blue ground color, polychrome enamel decoration, gilding; gilt-bronze mounts
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection.
Marks: Incised mark: cs; Duveen label: C4366 / 2
Inscription: Incised mark: cs; Duveen label: C4366 / 2
Object Number: 27.130
Label Text:This lidded vase and its companion piece (cat. 99) are composites of eighteenth-century elements with later pieces and decoration. The pedestal of this example is probably of eighteenth-century soft-paste porcelain of about 1770-1780. The vase and lid were probably produced later and may be of hard-paste porcelain. The surface decoration of the three pieces (pedestal, vase, lid) and the gilt-bronze mounts securing them were all probably added during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century in order to create a pair of complementary vases that were then marketed as genuine eighteenth-century pieces.
The body or vase of these two examples corresponds to the eighteenth-century Sèvres shape known as a vase ferré-a model that was introduced at Sèvres by 1763 and remained popular. It was still in production in the 1780s and was copied at other factories during the nineteenth century, even being reintroduced at Sèvres in 1885. The term ferré (meaning chained or fettered in irons) refers to the applied panels bound by rings and suspended by ropes. The first and earliest version of the model had longer porcelain ropes suspended from the rim rather than lower on the shoulder; otherwise, it and the next two variants were of essentially the same shape. The original model had a high domed lid with gadrooning and a large slender pinecone knop. It also had a high fluted pedestal with pearl collar-the fluting of the pedestal echoing that on the neck of the vase and the pearl collar echoing the round and oval lozenges on the neck (fig. 00).
The Huntington vases have been listed as another and unique eighteenth-century variant of this model. However, the lids and pedestals do not correspond to eighteenth-century prototypes-the originals were larger and heavier in design, giving greater balance to the overall form. The pedestal of this vase is marked for an eighteenth-century modeler, nevertheless it is not a form that was used with the vase ferré model. A short pedestal such as this with a ribbed and cross-banded collar was used with another vase form introduced in the mid-1760s, the vase à feuille de mirte. This pedestal was probably originally made for a vase of that model, but was not used and was later added as the pedestal for this vase. The low domed lids are not of Sèvres porcelain and have gilt-bronze knops in the form of a pinecones, suggestive of the eighteenth-century model.
Neither the painting nor the gilding on the vases corresponds in the quality of execution to that produced at the Sèvres manufactory. For a discussion of the ground color, gilding, mounts, and the colored reserve on the front of the companion piece, see cat. 99.
The back and side panels are painted in polychrome on white reserves with trophies suspended from ribbons. On this example the elements are suggestive of geography, navigation, and the arts. One trophy incorporates a terrestrial globe, telescope, and navigational instruments; another trophy has a easel and palette board; and the third trophy has a compass, map, coral, and shells. This third trophy is very similar in character to a trophy on the back of a vase à boulons in the Wallace Collection, however without the same high degree of technical mastery in the painted details. It is possible that the painting on the Wallace vase served as the model for a later decorator painting the trophy on this vase.

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