Two Sèvres Gilt Bronze Mounted Porcelain Pâte-sur-pâte Vases by Gely For Sale
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Two Sèvres Gilt Bronze Mounted Porcelain Pâte-sur-pâte Vases by Gely

About

These very important vases combine the best of 19th century French craftsmanship with the most elegant and beautiful of Japanese-inspired design. The vases were crafted by the prestigious Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres in 1867, the firm responsible for the invention of the translucent 'pâte-sur-pâte' technique for the decoration of porcelain. The craftsman responsible for the invention of pâte-sur-pâte porcelain was Leopold-Jules-Joseph Gely (French, 1820-1893), who made these very vases. The pâte-sur-pâte technique involves the use of liquid clay, referred to as 'slip', which is painted with a brush onto the surface of unfired porcelain, to build up a relief-form decoration. The piece is then fired and glazed, and the thickness with which the slip is applied allows the piece to exhibit variations in tone and translucency. Gely worked for some 20 years on the perfection of the technique and, in 1867, he used the occasion of the Exposition Universelle in Paris as his platform to debut these new wares. Dated 1867, it is most likely that these beautiful vases were works shown by Sèvres at the Exhibition. Many of the other works by Gely exhibited at the 1867 fair are now in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The vases feature extensive pâte-sur-pâte detailing, the quality of which is truly exceptional. Of tapered, cylindrical form, the vases are colored with a sage green ground, and feature twin handles of female Classical masks on one vase, and twin satyr masks on the other. The bodies are beautifully decorated with butterflies, dragonflies, reeds, blossoms and summer flowers in fresh pastel colors. These decorations are no doubt inspired by the Japanese style of ceramics, which became highly fashionable in the mid-19th century owing to the recommencement of trade between Japan and the West. These elegant Japanese-style decorations on the body are offset by more traditional French Neoclassical ornament on necks and covers. These feature parcel gilt geometric patterns and foliate motifs, set against a blue ground. Each cover is surmounted by a lilac pomegranate finial. The vases are placed on gilt bronze (ormolu) plinths, ornamented with seashells, scrolling foliage and festoons. The vases succeed in marrying the very best of French craftsmanship and design with inspiration from the Far East. Underlining their importance, the vases bear a variety of significant marks. To the front, the vases are signed by the maker, 'L. Gely', and their undersides are marked 's 66' for the Sèvres factory. They also feature a crowned 'N 67', for Napoleon III, the Emperor of France and the one responsible for the 1867 Exposition Universelle. These vases also have an important provenance. They formed part of the collection of John Barrymore (American, 1882-1942), who is widely recognised as one of the greatest Hollywood actors of the early 20th Century.

Details

  • Condition
    Good
  • Dimensions
    H 19.69 in. x W 10.24 in. x D 7.88 in.H 50 cm x W 26 cm x D 20 cm
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Seller Reference Number
    15358
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU956311166801
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Recognized
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in London, GB
Associations:
The British Antique Dealers' Association
International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations
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