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    Sale 1987

    Important European Furniture, Works of Art, Ceramics, Carpets, And Glass

    20 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 216

    A PAIR OF SEVRES ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAROON-GROUND SCROLL-HANDLED VASES (VASE 'CARAFE ETRUSQUE', 2EME GRANDEUR)

    1844-1845, CAMEO BIRD PAINTING BY DIDIER FILS, FIGURE PAINTING BY MORIOT

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF SEVRES ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAROON-GROUND SCROLL-HANDLED VASES (VASE 'CARAFE ETRUSQUE', 2EME GRANDEUR)
    1844-1845, cameo bird painting by Didier fils, figure painting by Moriot
    Each of oviform, the cylindrical neck with everted concave mouth, on short spreading foot and square gilt-bronze base, the finely chased gilt bronze upright ribbed scroll handles issuing from acanthus at the shoulder; finely painted with décor aquatique, one side in colored enamels with variant figures of Cupid riding a sea monster with boar's head and bifurcated fish's tail, the other as a cameo with waterfowl, each betweens variant gilt shells strung on platinum lines; the underside of the mouth gilt with alternate stiff leaves and flowers, the neck with a shell on the enameled side, a gilt sea monster on the cameo side, each within gilt and platinum lilypad fronds and flowers, the shoulder in gilt and platinum with faux gadroons; the lower portion similarly gilt and enriched in platinum with stylized tridents issuing from anthemia, the sides with stylized anthemia within scrolls below the handles, the convex circular foot with scallop shells on a band of coral
    17 1/8 in. (43.5 cm.) high overall (2)


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    The present pair of vases boast the best in decoration available at the Sèvres factory in the mid 19th century. Decoration in colored enamels was provided by Nicolas-Marie Moriot; cameo decoration by Charles-Antoine Didier who also provided the gilt decoration. This rich gilt ornamentation, likely described in the records as riches ornements en or peint en salis d'or, or mat, brunis lamini double was further hightened by the addition of platinum details, a technique first developed in the early 1820's. The artist's rubbed signature appears on the underside of one base.

    The factory's archives reveal that over sixteen months were required to complete the decoration of these vases. They first appear in the work records in January 1844, eaching completion in April 1845 (Register Vj' 51, folios 65vo to 67 and Vj' 52, folios 71-71vo). On 10 June of that year, the mounted porcelain entered the factory sales office (magazin de vente), their asking price listed at 1,500 francs for the pair. As was often the case, this price did not begin to cover the actusl cost of manufacture, estimates at a whopping 63,175 france per vase! (Register Vv 4, folio 42vo, no55 and feuille d'appréciation no 30 of 1845). During one of his regular visits to the factory, the king of France spotted them in the sales room and issued a verbal order for their acquisition. They were delivered sur l'ordre verbal de Sa Majesté on 13 November 1845 (Register Vbb 11, folio 6vo). Nothing is known of their whereabouts since entering the French royal collections. They were identified by Bernard Dragesco, whose research forms the basis for this catalogue note.

    Provenance

    King Louis Philippe of France, delivered 13 November 1845.
    With Dragesco-Cramoisan, Paris.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED COLLECTION (LOTS 207-223)


    Exhibited

    Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Institute of Arts, French Galleries, on extended loan by the consignor 1998-2008.