• Sale 2566

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe Including Oriental Carpets

    7 June 2012, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 52

    A PAIR OF SEVRES (LOUIS-PHILIPPE) PORCELAIN VASES (VASES 'ARABE FEUCHERE', 2EME GRANDEUR)

    1843-1844, BLUE STENCILED LP MONOGRAM DECORATING MARKS FOR 1844 AND DECORATOR'S MONOGRAM AEJ FOR JULIENNE TO BOTH, ONE INCISED WITH THE KILN DATE FOR FEBRUARY 1843 AND 271L

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF SEVRES (LOUIS-PHILIPPE) PORCELAIN VASES (VASES 'ARABE FEUCHERE', 2EME GRANDEUR)
    1843-1844, BLUE STENCILED LP MONOGRAM DECORATING MARKS FOR 1844 AND DECORATOR'S MONOGRAM AEJ FOR JULIENNE TO BOTH, ONE INCISED WITH THE KILN DATE FOR FEBRUARY 1843 AND 271l
    Each of Alhambra vase form on a vari-knopped socle, the upright handles pierced, decorated in the Islamic taste with a trefoil cartouche enclosing 'damascened' models of confronting giraffes (traditionally described as gazelles on the Moorish prototype) in soft green reserved on a similar ground of gilt-edged Nankin and custard yellow strapwork, the cartouche, in turn, reserved on a ground of strapwork panels, those of a pale and slightly darker cornflower blue alternate with white panels gilt with equally intricate strapwork and arabesques, the vari-knopped neck and socle foot en suite
    19¼ in. (48.8 cm.) high (2)


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    The present vases, the first of only two pair made in this form and corresponding almost exactly to the watercolor design retained in the factory archives, is the only pair likely to ever come on the market.
    The 'damascened' decoration, the work of Alexis-Etienne Julienne after designs by Lèon Feuchére, is very close to that found on the Alhambra vase, retained in Grenada at the Alhambra Palace. The Sèvres vases cost 812 francs to produce (550 francs for the painting alone) and were listed at 1,000 francs when shown at the Louvre. It is interesting to note the substitution of a chain-pattern band in place of the Arabic inscription found in the watercolor.

    For the second and only other pair of this form made, also decorated in the Islamic taste, a quatrefoil strap-work cartouche flanked by similar medallions replacing the confronting giraffes found on the present pair, see B. Ducrot, Second Empire et IIIe Rèpublique - De l'audace á la jubilation, Collection 'Sèvres, une histoire cèramique', Paris, 2008, pp. 8 (color illustration), 137. Dated 1852 and currently housed in the Mobilier national, Paris [Inv. GMI.10124/2], they were exhibited by Sèvres in Dublin at the exhibition of Art and Industry of 1853.

    For a detailed history of the present vases and of the use of the innovative demi-grand feu ground colors developed at this time, see the above reference Bard exhibition catalogue entry. The catalogue entry makes mention of a 54 inch high amphora version. It is more closely related to the Moorish prototype and is described in the Sèvres records as a vase 'Arabe de L'Alhambra'. Designed to rest in a support formed by bronze models of upturned dolphins, the vase 'Arabe de L'Alhambra' features a bronze pierced gallery encircling the shoulder and separate cloisonné enamel arms pinning into the shoulder and mouth.

    Two of this large model were also made, neither of which will likely ever come onto the market. Both feature the confronting animals within an ogival panel seen in the watercolor as the central decoration. The first, the animals against a bleu agate ground, is retained in the Mobilier national. The second, a pink-ground version, has been in the collection of the Musée des arts décoratifs in Rouen since 1850.

    Provenance

    Delivered to Louis-Philippe, King of France, 12 September 1844.
    Presented by the King to the landscape painter Paul Huet, 1844.
    Acquired at auction by the present owner, Virginia, 1965.


    Pre-Lot Text

    A ROYAL GIFT FROM LOUIS-PHILIPPE, KING OF FRANCE

    THE PROPERTY OF A LADY


    Literature

    T. Préaud, The Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory: Alexandre Brogniart and the Triumph of Art and Industry, 1800-1847, Exhibition Catalogue, The Bard Center for Graduate Studies in the Decorative Arts, London, 1997, cat. no. 99.


    Exhibited

    Paris, Palais du Louvre, 3 June 1844 (the annual Sèvres selling exhibition).