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Three volumes covering all French porcelain in the Royal Collection

Sèvres porcelain factory

Vase à bandes 1771

Soft-paste porcelain, bleu céleste ground, gilded decoration and gilt bronze | .1 47.0 x 20.6 x 17.6, .2 46.5 x 20.5 x 17.7 cm (whole object) | RCIN 36105

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The skilful trompe l’oeil effect, combining moulded with flat decoration, was a successful decorative device employed at Sèvres. In this instance, the gilded high-relief leaf-and-berry garlands on the sides, seemingly suspended from the top by a ring and threaded through straps at the bottom, are visually extended by the finely tooled flat gilded laurel trails. The pastoral scenes, painted by Charles-Nicolas Dodin (active 1754-1803), depict (on the left) the game of blind man’s buff, copied from the engraving Le Colin Maillard by Jacques-Firmin Beauvarlet (1731-97) after Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), and (on the right) a reproduction of François Boucher’s Le Berger Récompensé, as engraved by René Gaillard. The detailed landscape scenes on the back have not been traced to any particular source, although repetition of the same scenes suggests that templates of some sort were sometimes used as models. This pair of vases is the earliest known to survive of the model created in 1769. Text adapted from French Porcelain for English Palaces, Sèvres from the Royal Collection, London, 2009