• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12195

    Living With Art

    14 - 15 June 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 363

    A SEVRES PORCELAIN BLEU NOUVEAU AND GILT VERMICULE THREE-PIECE GARNITURE (CUVETTE ‘MAHON’, 2EME GRANDEUR ET UN PAIR DE VASES ‘A OREILLES’ 2EME GRANDEUR)

    CIRCA 1760-1762, THE FIGURE PAINTING ATTRIBUTED TO ANDRÉ-VINCENT VIELLARD, THE CUVETTE PROBABLY MODELED BY JEAN-CLAUDE DUPLESSIS

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SEVRES PORCELAIN BLEU NOUVEAU AND GILT VERMICULE THREE-PIECE GARNITURE (CUVETTE ‘MAHON’, 2EME GRANDEUR ET UN PAIR DE VASES ‘A OREILLES’ 2EME GRANDEUR)
    CIRCA 1760-1762, THE FIGURE PAINTING ATTRIBUTED TO ANDRÉ-VINCENT VIELLARD, THE CUVETTE PROBABLY MODELED BY JEAN-CLAUDE DUPLESSIS
    Comprising a cuvette Mahon’, 2ème grandeur flanked by a pair of vases ‘à oreilles’, 3ème grandeur, each painted on the front in the manner of Boucher, the shell-shape cuvette with an amorous couple in a pastoral scene, the pair with either a pastoral view of boy or a girl, the reverse with figures and buildings in a landscape, each scene reserved on the gilt vermiculé dark blue ground within shaped gilt ciselé cartouches
    10 ½ in. (26.7 cm.) wide, the cuvette; 8 ½ in. (21.5 cm.) high, the vases


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The original line drawing of the cuvette Mahon form--with script thought to be in the hand of Duplessis-- and its plaster models are retained by the archives of Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres. The form was produced in three sizes, of which the present example is the second largest. According to Svend Erikson, the name would seem to be related to the city of Mahon on the island of Menorca off the coast of Spain which was captured in 1757 by the duc de Richelieu and was one of the great triumphs for the French during the Seven Years War. In celebration of the battle, the name Mahon was attached to various contemporary social and cultural events including a new form of sword knot and the invention of a rich egg-based sauce, sauce la Mahon, known today as mayonnaise.

    More than twenty versions of the cuvette Mahon are known and range in date from 1757-58 to 1776. Geoffrey de Bellaigue notes that the incomplete biscuit kiln records mention five of the larger examples successfully fired between 18 October - 30 December 1758 and 12 February 1759. Production was largely confined to the years 1757 to 1761 and sales between 1757-1763. Known examples include those in the collection of HRH Queen Elizabeth II and at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Hillwood House, the Rijksmuseum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Waddeson Manor, the British Museum and Harewood House. The cuvette Mahon seems to have been produced as a singular object and there are no known pairs. The only other known garniture is in the Art Institute of Chicago.

    For the example of the same size in the Royal Collection and a discussion of this form, see G. de Bellaigue, French Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, vol. I, London, 2009, pp. 138-142. For other 2ème grandeur examples with marbled pink grounds in the collection of the British Museum, see A. Dawson, A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, London, 1994, pp. 115-116, fig. 103. Also compare the examples sold Christie's, Paris, 19 December 2007, lot 12 and Christie's, New York, 9 November 2013, lot 616.

    The painting on the present three vases is quite similar in style to the garniture with Teniers scenes by Viellard now in the Wallace Collection. See R. Savill, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain, vol. I, London 1988, pp. 101-104, no. C227-9.

    Provenance

    Mr. Robert Lehman, New York; Sotheby’s, New York, 23 May 2003, lot 20.
    The Collection of Dr. Alexandre Benchoufi; Sotheby’s, New York, 9 November 2006, lot 140.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from a Texas Collection