This pair of Paris porcelain Neoclassical style vases from the early 1800’s have stunning details and rich coloration.
Old Paris porcelain, or Vieux Paris, is the term given to the elaborate hard-paste porcelain products created in Paris from the mid 1700’s through the late 1800’s. Vieux Paris is a generic term, as there were more than 30 factories that produced porcelain during this period. Sometimes these factories would sell “blank”, unpainted pieces to outside artisans, so it is quite possible to see identically shaped pieces with different paint styles. Because of this, a fair majority of Vieux Paris is unattributed – meaning there are typically no production marks.
The trumpet necks of these vases are a lustrous gilded porcelain, flanked on two sides by bright white stylized sphinx busts with acanthus leaf headpieces. The slightly obovate bodies are painted in a matte azure color. This color, known as “Bleu de France”, has been a staple of the heraldry of the French monarchy since the 12th century.
The body of each vase is where most of the minute details can be found. Situated on either side and slightly below the base of the sphinxes are gilt cherubs. Each vase has its own unique set of cherubs, depicting different activities. One vase has a cherub with butterfly on a string, while the one on the opposite side is holding a pair of trumpets. The other vase has a cherub flying with a wreath, while the one on the opposite side is holding a pair of torches. Even though the figures are very small in stature, you can still see the details of their faces. Beneath the cherubs are large bisque swags of unbelievably detailed roses, dahlias, carnations and other flowers. To the side of these, there are margents of similar flora that flow down towards gilded stylized hearts that terminate in rinceaux scrolls. Within each heart, an upward pointing arrow is flanked by two lion mascarons holding drapery in their mouths. Trailing from the rinceaux scrolls are vertical rods with butterflies and foliage resting on top. Beneath this are tall gilded leaves that taper into the rich gilded foot, which matches the gilding on the trumpet necks. All this rests upon square “Michelangelo Marble” bases.
The vivid colors and the intricate, minute details of these elegant vases is hard to portray in photos. They would look amazing prominently displayed on any table surface or in a vitrine or open-faced cabinet.
CONDITION: Very minor wear, otherwise excellent antique condition.