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.