The distinctive ormolu bases of these elegant vases, with their bold scrolls and ‘rocaille symmetrisé' relate to the work of Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis (1699-1774). Duplessis is recorded as a sculptor, ceramics modeler, goldsmith, and bronzier working in the rococo manner, and owed his position and success to a number of influential patrons, including the well-connected Victor-Amédée de Savoie, Prince de Carignan, as well as Marc-René de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson. While Duplessis held no official title and never received his maîtrise, he was widely recognized as such due to the protection and accessibility to royal circles that patronage provided. By 1758 he was listed as Orfèvre du Roi, and was the artistic director of the Vincennes and Sèvres porcelain factories. In his early career as a bronzier, Duplessis worked through the intermediary of marchands-merciers who specialized in ormolu-mounted objects employing the services of a bronzier as required. A number of entries in the Livre-journal of the marchand-mercier, Lazare Duvaux show that Duplessis was regularly engaged to provide mounts for Chinese porcelain referred to as celadon in the day books for the Marquis de Voyer, Monsieur Gaignat and Madame de Pompadour (L. Courajod, Livre-Journal de Lazare Duvaux, Marchand-Bijoutier Ordinaire du Roy, 1748-1758, Paris, 1873, vol. II, nos. 601, 1713 and 1810). After several years his reputation had spread and aristocratic clients such as Augustin Blondel de Gagny and the duc de Chaulnes approached him directly. As an independent bronzier, Duplessis would not only have supplied the mounts but also the porcelain. To replenish his stock of Chinese porcelain he frequented the Parisian salerooms, acquiring in 1767 from la collection Jullienne 'pots pourris de porcelain d'ancien japon' and 'un grand vase de porcelain de Chine', the total bill coming to 3800 l.
With their almost identical base mounts, the present vases are related to a pair formerly in the collection of William Beckford, sold Christie's, London, 4 July 2013, lot 39 (£421,875). They are comparable to several similar examples in the Wrightsman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1976.155.91, .92; 1977.102.1, .2).