The Hon. Edward 'Beau' Lascelles (1764-1814): Ormolu-Mounted Porcelains at Harewood
'Beau' Lascelles was something of a visionary. Following in the fashion of the Prince Regent, he collected voraciously and acquired a number of important Objets d'Art for the Lascelles houses. Perhaps best remembered for his friendship and patronage of avant-garde artists Turner and Girtin, he capitalized on the opportunity presented by the brief peace secured in the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Along with other assiduous collectors at the time, Beau made several trips to Paris where superb ormolu-mounted Chinese Porcelains, previously in the hands of the French aristocracy and fallen victim at the hands of Revolutionaries, found themselves in Paris salerooms. Lot 535 was almost certainly one such purchase, with its naturalistic swagged handle mounts conceived in the antique Louis XVI taste and later set on an English Regency giltwood base.
Inspired by such pieces, the best of which still adorn the Gallery at Harewood House, Beau and his father, Edward Lascelles, 1st Earl of Harewood commissioned the firm of Vulliamy & Son to mount Chinese vases of celadon green, sang-de-bouef and lavender flambé glazes (lots 521-526) circa 1806 - many in the French taste. The superlative quality of the mounts and gilding are indicative of the Vulliamys' finest output and reveal the extent of their designs - from the retour d'Egypte stylized palmettes on the Qianlong vase and cover (lot 525) to the superbly channelled rectilinear supports of the famille-noir bottle-vase (lot 523).
The archive of record at Harewood House also includes a number of invoices from the celebrated Bond Street porcelain and furniture dealer Robert Fogg of Golden Square, who served as the Prince of Wales's China-man (English Ceramic Circle, vol. 16, part 2, 1997, p. 204 and M. Mauchline, Harewood House, Ashbourne, 1992, p. 114). They formed part of a large collection of vases that are likely to have been acquired by Edward Lascelles and mounted by the Vulliamys to serve as garnitures for chimneypieces etc. at Harewood House in Hanover Square, London, which had been purchased in 1795 and which were then subsequently moved to Harewood House in Yorkshire.
Lot 523 relates to a similar bottle vase, also in the famille-noir palette and mounted by the Vulliamys in 1811 in the Royal Collection (see G. de Bellaigue, 'Samuel Parker and the Vulliamys, purveyors of gilt bronze' The Burlington Magazine, January 1997, p. 32, fig. 53.). A garniture of three similar vases was sold from Harewood, Christie's London, 3 July 1986, lot 43 (£48,600).