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Ninteenth-Century Sèvres and Paris Porcelain

A number of porcelain manufactories in Paris were established in competition with Sèvres following the introduction of hard-paste porcelain in France in 1769. It was not until after the French Revolution that the rival manufactories were able to flourish, freed from the regulations and restrictive practices of the ancien régime. Their peak was during the period of the Consulate and Empire (1799–1814/15) when austere Classical and Egyptian themes prevailed. Among the most fashionable manufactories in Paris were Dagoty-Honoré and Dihl and Guérhard.

The distinction between the richly gilt and painted hard-paste Sèvres and hard-paste Paris porcelain was not always clear. In some instances, pieces of Paris porcelain may have been mistaken for Sèvres when sold to George IV.

The painted scene on the veilleuse recalls the arrival in France of a live female giraffe from Alexandria in 1827. The giraffe was a present from the Pasha of Egypt to Charles X and she took Paris by storm. Weekly publications recorded her appearances, the crowds she attracted and the changes in fashion and hairstyle à la giraffe that she provoked. The veilleuse was intended to function as a tea warmer. A small oil burner with a floating wick in a ceramic dish would have been concealed within the hollow base of the circular tower.


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