VASES À MONTER
The Sèvres factory produced vases à monter, or vases intended to be fitted with ormolu mounts, beginning in around 1764. The main three forms of such vases assembled into garnitures were tapering cylindrical (of two differing dimensions) and egg-shaped. These finished glazed vases were sold largely to marchand-merciers who then embellished them with mounts. The earlier vases were glazed in solid ground colors, although invoices exist for pieces decorated with green and blue grounds scattered with foliate wreaths centered by roses by 1770.
These vases or goblets cloches bear mounts of one of five basic styles. This indicates in all likelihood that the marchand-merciers who purchased the vases à monter produced their own signature mounts. A complete garniture incorporating a pair of egg-form vases, a pair of small cylindrical and one large cylindrical vase is in the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford (see Linda H. Roth and Clare Le Corbeiller, French Eighteenth Century Porcelain at the Wadsworth Atheneum: The J. Pierpont Morgan Collection, 2000, p 156, fig 74.).
The current pair represent the same form of vases as those in the Wadsworth Atheneum garniture. A three piece garniture including a pair of vases of the same model, with identical mounts, formerly in the collection of Mme. Jules Fribourg, are illustrated in S. Eriksen, Early Neo-Classicism in France, 1974, p. 363, fig 242. Eriksen refers to an identical pair of vases, part of a garniture and bearing the date letter 'q' for 1769, sold in the Erich von Goldschmidt-Rothschild sale, Berlin, 23 March 1931, lot 206. A number of other examples of vases of this model are know. These include:- a pair from the Keck Collection, La Lanterne, Bel Air, California, sold Sotheby's, New York, 5-6 December 1991, lot 225, $24,200; a pair sold Christie's London, 17 June 1987, lot 32 £17,600; another pair, formerly part of a garniture, with apple-green ground was in the collection of the Late Earl of Sefton and sold by Christie's at Croxteth Hall, Liverpool, 17-20 September 1973, lot 908 and again Christie's London, 5 July 1984, lot 13; a three-piece garniture again with apple-green ground were sold from the Jaime Ortiz-Patiño Collection, Sotheby's New York, 20 May 1992, lot 31 ($63,250 including premium); a pair and two garnitures of three, each on solid apple green ground, were sold from Houghton, Christie's London, 8 December 1994, lots 36-38 (£11,500, £26,450 and £32,200, including premium, respectively).