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Sèvres Porcelain Factory

During the mid-eighteenth century the French porcelain factory at Sèvres became renowned not only for the fine painting of bouquets of garden flowers, such as convolvulus, asters, speedwell, tulips and hollyhocks, straight onto the porcelain, but also the application of three-dimensional flowers as seen on the pot-pourri gondole. All of these examples of vases and pot-pourris are displayed showing their reverses, which all have botanically-inspired decoration; the fronts are painted with classical scenes. The single vase à feuilles de myrte at the middle left owes its name to the botanic influence on their decoration, its gilded handles modelled on myrtle leaves. The pot-pourri gondole would have been used for the propagation of small bulbs in the bowls on the top, the roots using a water reservoir below. When bulbs were not in season, the base could have been filled with sweet-smelling pot-pourri, the scent from which could escape through the piercings in the top section.