The J. Paul Getty Museum

Garniture of Three Vases (vases des âges: vase des âges à têtes de vieillards, première grandeur; vases des âges à têtes de jeunes femmes, deuxième grandeur)

Object Details

Title:

Garniture of Three Vases (vases des âges: vase des âges à têtes de vieillards, première grandeur; vases des âges à têtes de jeunes femmes, deuxième grandeur)

Artists/Makers:

Shape designed by Jacques-François Deparis (French, active 1746 - 1797)

at least one vase modelled by the répareur Etienne-Henry Bono (French, active 1754 - 1781)

reserves painted by Antoine Caton (French, active 1753 - 1798)

Gilded by Etienne-Henri Le Guay (French, 1719/1720 - about 1799)

Enamel jeweling by Philippe Parpette (French, active 1755 - 1757, 1773 - 1806)

after engravings by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard (French, 1686 - 1766)

after designs by Charles Monnet (French, 1732 - after 1808)

Sèvres Manufactory (French, founded 1756)

Culture:

French

Date:

1781

Medium:

Soft-paste porcelain, beau bleu ground color, polychrome enamel decoration, enamel imitating jewels, gilding, and gold foil

Object Number:

84.DE.718

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Object Description

Beginning in 1778, the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory produced garnitures of five vases to a design called the vases des âges (vases of the ages). These ornamental vases were made in three sizes: a large central vase with handles in the shape of bearded male heads, a pair of smaller vases with heads of young women, and a pair of still smaller vases with heads of boys. In 1781 Louis XVI bought one of these garnitures for his library at the palace of Versailles. The scenes painted on the fronts of these vases showed episodes from The Adventures of Telemachus, one of the king's favorite books. The Getty Museum owns three of the original five vases, while the two smallest now belong to the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland.

These vases are among the largest pieces of jeweled porcelain made at Sèvres. Jeweling was an elaborate form of decoration in which the ground color was covered with stamped gold foils. Small drops of colored enamel were then applied to the foils, imitating jewels, pearls, and moss agates. This type of ornament was extremely fragile and was therefore used only on objects created for display rather than for use.

At least one of these vases was modeled by the répareur, Étienne-Henry Bono. The design was created after engravings by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard and after designs by Charles Monnet. Étienne-Henri Le Guay gilded the vases.

Provenance
Provenance
1781 - 1792

Louis XVI, King of France, French, 1754 - 1793 (Bibliothèque du roi, château de Versailles, France), nationalized during the French Revolution.

1792

French government, Convention Nationale, Garde-Meuble National, probably sold over the course of the state-sponsored sales of former royal property.

before 1918

Alfred (Charles) de Rothschild, 1842 - 1918 (Halton, Buckinghamshire, England), by inheritance to Lionel (Nathan) de Rothschild.

1918 - 1942

Lionel (Nathan) de Rothschild, 1882 - 1942 (Exbury, Hampshire, England), by inheritance to Edmund (Leopold) de Rothschild.

1942 - 1946

Edmund (Leopold) de Rothschild, English, 1916 - 2009 (Exbury, Hampshire, England) [sold, Christie's, London, July 4, 1946, lot 89, for £1,575 to Frank Partridge]

by 1951 - 1984

The Antique Porcelain Company, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Bibliography
Bibliography

Preaud, Tamara. "Sèvres Enamelled Porcelain: Eight Dies (And a Quarrel) Rediscovered." The Burlington Magazine 128, No. 999 (June 1986), p. 397.

Verlet, Pierre. "Orders for Sèvres from the French Court." Burlington Magazine 96 (July 1954), pp. 202-06.

"Acquisitions/1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), p. 182, no. 64.

Sassoon, Adrian. "Vincennes and Sèvres Porcelain Acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), pp. 98-104, no. 4.

de Bellaigue, Geoffrey. Sèvres Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen: The Louis XVI Service (Cambridge, 1985), p. 12, fig. 8, and p. 24, no. 2.

Eriksen, Svend, and Geoffrey de Bellaigue. Sèvres Porcelain: Vincennes and Sèvres 1740-1800 (London and Boston, 1987), p. 139, no. 147, pp. 338-39.

Savill, Rosalind. The Wallace Collection: Catalogue of the Sèvres Porcelain (London: Trustees of the Wallace Collection, 1988), vol. 1, pp. 458, 462, no. 25, vol. 3, 1016, 1017, no. 16, 1056, 1057, no. 10.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 193.

Sassoon, Adrian. Vincennes and Sèvres Porcelain: Catalogue of the Collections (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), pp. 126-35, no. 25.

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), pp. 142-43, no. 237.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 226, ill.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 111, no. 88.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 226.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 124, no. 248.

Wilson, Gillian. "Versailles au J. Paul Getty Museum." Versalia, Revue de la Société des Amis de Versailles 5 (2002), pp. 102-3, figs. 16, 18-19.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 247, ill.

Bennett, Shelley M., and Carolyn Sargentson, eds. French Art of the Eighteenth Century at the Huntington (New Haven and London: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, with Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 250-51, 251n20, under no. 98, entry by Jeffrey Weaver.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 303, ill.

Munger, Jeffrey, and Elizabeth Sullivan. European Porcelain in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018), p. 213, under no. 67.

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Looking at French Decorative Arts