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Arabesque Decoration

Inspired by Ancient Greek and Roman architecture and reflecting the development of neo-classicism in France, arabesque decoration became popular at Sèvres during the 1780s and 1790s.

The mounted vases with handles in the form of goats rank among the finest pieces of Sèvres porcelain produced by the manufactory in the Louis XVI style. The delicate polychrome arabesque painting and the finely chased gilt bronze mounts, which may have been supplied by Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751–1833), are of exceptional quality. The vases once belonged to Louis XVI and formed part of the furnishings of the Ancienne Pièce du Café on the first floor of the King’s private apartments at Versailles.

Delicate arabesque patterns on a burnished gold ground (fond plein or) illustrate the extremes of sophistication attained by the artists at Sèvres. Inspired by the designs of Jean-Jacques Lagrenée le jeune, the punch bowl is a fine example of the late style of arabesque decoration practised at Sèvres in the 1790s. The painting on the cups and saucers recalls compositions and engravings by Henri Salembier (1753–1820). The Sèvres service arabesque begun in 1783 for Louis XVI was designed by the architect Louis Le Masson (1743–1829). 

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