A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED CHINESE BLUE PORCELAIN POT POURRI VASE
A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED CHINESE BLUE PORCELAIN POT POURRI VASE
A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED CHINESE BLUE PORCELAIN POT POURRI VASE
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more The Shrubland goût grec vase
A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED CHINESE BLUE PORCELAIN POT POURRI VASE

THE MOUNTS ATTRIBUTED TO JEAN-CLAUDE-THOMAS DUPLESSIS, CIRCA 1765-70, THE PORCELAIN MID-18TH CENTURY

Details
A LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED CHINESE BLUE PORCELAIN POT POURRI VASE
THE MOUNTS ATTRIBUTED TO JEAN-CLAUDE-THOMAS DUPLESSIS, CIRCA 1765-70, THE PORCELAIN MID-18TH CENTURY
The lid with pomegranate finial above an oak-and-acorn rim, with bead-and-reel lip above a pierced neck, flanked by pierced square-section handles above berried acanthus scroll plates joined by oak-and-acorn swags, the bulbous porcelain body on a fluted waisted socle and square base hung with oak-and-acorn swags, on panelled block feet applied with rosettes
16 ¼ in. (41 cm.) high; 11 ¾ in. (30 cm.) wide
Provenance
Probably acquired by Sir William Fowle Middleton, 2nd Bt., for Shrubland Park, Suffolk, circa 1830-32.
Thence by descent with the Barons de Saumarez, Shrubland Park, Suffolk, until sold Sotheby's, London, 8 June 2005, lot 36.
Literature
Christopher Hussey, ‘Shrubland Park, the home of the Honourable J.V.B. Saumarez’, Country Life, 19 November 1953, p. 1654.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

The bold, classically-inspired angularity of the mounts of this eye-catching vase reflect the goût grec, the earliest and most avant-garde phase of French neo-classicism. The fashionable, although short-lived, goût grec style developed in the 1750s, in part as a reaction to the excesses of the rocaille, and was promoted by influential designers such as Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain, Charles de Wailly and Jacques-François Blondel. The style was further fuelled by the writings of Charles-Nicolas Cochin (d. 1790) who, upon his return from Italy, published influential articles lamenting the overuse of rocaille decoration. The austere Greek style soon gained wide popularity. Writing in 1763, Baron de Grimm observed: '...tout est à Paris à la grecque' , an indication that the taste had spread well beyond the circle of a small group of patrons and collectors (S. Eriksen, Early Neo-Classicism in France, London, 1974, p. 264).

The Sèvres porcelain factory, led by the brilliant designer and bronzier Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis, was quick to adopt the new style and in the 1760s produced a series of vases of startling originality, often with laurel husks in combination with angular handles as on the vase offered here (ibid., figs. 270 & 275; R. Savill, The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain, London, 1988, vol. I, pp. 247, 254, 322 & 349). The mounts are likely to have been executed by Jean-Claude's son, Jean-Claude-Thomas, who from 1752 assisted his father in creating models and who became maître fondeur in 1765, by which time his father was much less active. It is also fascinating to note that the seeding pomegranate finial on this vase also features on the celebrated Chinese celadon porcelain vase mounted by Duplessis père for Lazare Duvaux, and given by Madame de Pompadour to Machault d’Arnouville in 1755, making an attribution of the bronzes on this vase to Duplessis fils all the more plausible (V. Pruchnicki, Arnouville: Le Château des Machaut au XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 2013, pp. 46-8).

Although this vase features a body of powder blue Chinese porcelain, it is likely that the marchand-mercier responsible for its bold design was familiar with these avant-garde wares being produced at Sèvres. The goût grec mounts in combination with blue porcelain also recall the celebrated ‘vases Dulac’ with ingenious pop-up candelabra created in the 1760s by the marchand bijoutier Jean Dulac, almost always with bodies of Sèvres porcelain in a form known as a ‘vase cloche’.

A pair of vases of the same model, with the same powder blue porcelain bodies, was acquired by Sir Philip Sassoon, and were later in the collection of the Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall, Norfolk; sold Christie’s, London, 8 December 1994, lot 84 (£507,000).

SHRUBLAND PARK
Shrubland Park, Suffolk, inherited by the Barons de Saumarez in 1882, is an Italianate mansion, at the heart of which is a five bay brick house built for Rev'd John Bacon by James Paine in the early 1770s. It was enlarged between 1830 and 1832 by J.P. Gandy-Deering and further encased by Sir Charles Barry.

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