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Vincennes pair of vases


Code: MB643

Vases à oreilles (third size)

Circa 1755

Soft-paste porcelain

Overall height: 8 2/3 in. (22 cm.)

Height of vases: 7 in. (18.5 cm.)

Marks: interlaced Ls, painter's mark for Jacques Fontaine (active 1752-1807)

The vase à oreilles was first made in 1754 and quickly became a very popular shape at Vincennes, where it was produced in five sizes from 1755 onwards. The present vases are examples of the third size. The design is attributed to Jean-Claude Duplessis who was active at the manufacture from 1748-1774. Two drawings of the model survive at Sèvres, one depicting the outline and interior detail of a single vase and another with two vases, one designated as being of the third size and a smaller one inscribed fifth size. A plaster model also survives.

Vases à oreilles were sold mostly in pairs, but sometimes, in the case of the first and second sizes, as parts of garnitures. To create the shape, the vases were thrown on the wheel from the foot to the shoulder, and then the top was molded. The bleu céleste ground color was first introduced at the manufactory in 1753 and quickly became one of the most sought after and expensive in the factory’s repertoire.