Wine Bottle Cooler (seau à bouteille ordinaire)

Object Details

Title:

Wine Bottle Cooler (seau à bouteille ordinaire)

Artist/Maker:

Model originally by Jean-Claude Duplessis the Elder (French, about 1695 - 1774)
Painted reserves attributed to Charles-Eloi Asselin (French, 1742 - 1803)
Reserve "Mentor at Salentum" from engraving by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard (French, 1686 - 1766)
Gilding attributed to Etienne-Henri Le Guay (French, 1719/1720 - about 1799)
after a painting by Charles Monnet (French, 1732 - after 1808)
Reserve scene "Hercules" based on engraving by Georg Haas
after a painting by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre (French, 1713 - 1789)
Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1756 - present)

Culture:

French

Place:

Sèvres, France (Place created)

Date:

1790

Medium:

Soft-paste porcelain, with beau bleu ground color, polychrome enamel decoration and gilding

Dimensions:

18.9 × 25.9 cm (7 7/16 × 10 3/16 in.)

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In 1783 Louis XVI commissioned an impressive new dinner service for the palace of Versailles, including this wine bottle cooler. By the time the king was executed in 1793, less than half of the proposed 442 pieces had been completed by the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. For example, of the twenty-four wine coolers ordered, only nine were ever finished. Wine coolers were placed on the table or sideboard and filled with ice or cold water to chill the wine.

Both the dark, even background color and the detailed reserve scenes are of the very highest quality and indicate that this wine cooler was made for a royal client. The dark blue ground color, known in the factory archives as beau bleu (beautiful blue), was extremely difficult to fire. Without careful application, the color became patchy and uneven in the kiln or could bleed into other areas of the design. The central reserves are carefully painted with scenes from classical antiquity: one illustrates Hercules while the other shows Mentor.

The reserve "Mentor at Salentum" is from an engraving by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard, after a painting by Charles Monnet. The reserve scene "Hercules" is based on an engraving by Georg Haas, after a painting by Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre. Gilding has been attributed to Étienne-Henri Le Guay.

Exhibitions
Splendors of Versailles (April 1 to August 31, 1998)
  • Mississippi Arts Pavilion (Jackson), April 1 to August 31, 1998
Bibliography

Robinson, J.C. Catalogue of the Works of Art Forming the Collection of Robert Napier (London, 1865), p. 260, nos. 3501, 3502.

Sassoon, Adrian. "Two Acquisitions of Sèvres Porcelain." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 10 (1982), pp. 91-94, ill.

"Some Acquisitions (1981-82) in the Department of Decorative Arts, The J. Paul Getty Museum." The Burlington Magazine (Supplement) 125, no. 962 (May 1983), p. 323, no. 112, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. Selections from the Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), pp. 96-97, no. 48.

de Bellaigue, Geoffrey. Sèvres Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen: The Louis XVI Service (Cambridge, 1985), no. 148, pp. 28, fig. 19, pp. 45, 52, 55-56, 64, 222, figs. 1-2, pp. 255, 259, 264.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 178.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 86, no. 182.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 197.

Sassoon, Adrian. Vincennes and Sèvres Porcelain: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), pp. 146-51, no. 29.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 147, no. 243.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 233, ill.

Constans, Claire, and Xavier Salmon, eds. Splendors of Versailles, exh. cat. (Jackson, Miss., 1998), p. 207, no. 108.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 127-28, no. 255.

Coutts, Howard. The Art of Ceramics: European Ceramic Design 1500-1830 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), p. 207, fig. 256.