The shape 'vase Bertin' was originally introduced at Sèvres in 1850. It was apparently made in two sizes, 1re grandeur, about 99cm. high and 2e grandeur, about 51.5cm. high. The example in this lot is the first.
The celadon ground was made by tinting the paste with oxide of chrome, which was a process developed at Sèvres in 1848.
The technique of pâte-sur-pâte decoration was developed after lengthy research, appearing first as we know it, at Sèvres in about 1849.
Léopold-Jules-Joseph Gély was a sculptor-modeller and decorator at Sèvres from 1851 through 1888. He worked with Hyacinthe Régnier and later Marc Louis Solon. The three produced innovative and award winning pieces in that time. Gély not only produced cabinet pieces, but he was responsible for the decoration on massive pâte-surâte vases now in public collections in France. The vase with the spoonbill was exhibited at the 1855 Paris Exposition Universelle. See The Exhibition of Art-Industry in Paris, Catalogue, 1855, p. 11 for the illustration of the vase.
See Brigitte Ducrot, Porcelaines et Terres de Sèvres, Catalogue Musée National du Chateau de Compiègne, no. 212 for two of a set of four massive ormolu-mounted pâte-sur-pâte celadon-ground torcheres, made in 1862, which were exhibited at the 1862 Exposition Universelle in London and later entered the Imperial collection. Also illustrated is another pair in the Musée D'Orsay. See also, Marie-Noëlle Pinot de Villechenon, Sèvres, Porcelain from the Sèvres Museum 1740 to the Present Day, London, 1997, fig. 99, a 'Vase Bertin 1re grandeur, with pâte-sur-pâte birds and flowers on a black ground in the National Collection (MNC 7,702). For other examples of Gély's work, see Anon. sale, Christie's New York, 11 Sept. 1997, lots 99 and 100 and Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 24 June 1999, lot 260.