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Sèvres porcelain factory

Vase japon 1792-93

RCIN 537

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Sèvres hard paste porcelain pair of vases. Painted in mottled pink with gold and white registers decorated with polychrome arabesques, front and reverse, with octagonal reserves painted with mythological scenes, gilt bronze mounts include collar, base cap and base, fitted into leaf cup, small foliate handles and a pair of draped female figures of Victory, circular stem and foot mounted on square base. The imitation porphyry ground colour on these vases (fond porphyre) is decorated with octagonal reserves depicting mythological figures on the front and back of each vase. Some of these figures may derive from drawings attributed to Jean-Jacques Lagrenée le jeune (1739-1821) and engravings after Jean-Michel Moreau le jeune published in abbé Banier’s translation of Ovid’s Métamorphoses (1767-71). Unusually, in order to accommodate the gilt bronze winged figures of Victory, the body of the vase has been transformed and lengthened by the addition of a false bottom in metal, painted to simulate the porcelain ground colour. No other Sèvres vase of this shape is known. Text adapted from French Porcelain for English Palaces, Sèvres from the Royal Collection, London, 2009