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Made by: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory (Manufacturer)

On view in: Pavilion Hallway

About this object

During Alexandre Brongniart’s tenure as director of the factory (1800-1847), Sèvres enjoyed a period of refreshing invigoration. This vase stands out as a prime example of the freshness and creativity that came to characterize Sèvres productions during the Restoration. To decorate this vase, Brongniart called upon Madame Knip, a noted bird painter. Rather than adapt the birds from books, as had been the custom in the eighteenth century, Knip went to the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle, where she drew from life the birds she painted onto this porcelain vase.

Painted with Indian and African birds by Mme. Knip. Four swags densely packed with fruits and flowers encircle the main section of this urn-shaped vase, called a vase floréal. These are tied at the tops with an anthemion motif rising from an acanthus leaf. Above it a bird perches on a pedestal. A painted scroll on either side of the gilt bronze voluted handles encloses nestlings who are about to be fed by an approaching bird. Below each handle another bird perches on a stand above the swag. On the back two butterflies flitter above a large anthemion flanked by voluted scrolls. A garland of grain fastened with gold bands adorns the top and bottom of the vase's middle section. A row of stylized fusiform leaves and long-stemmed flowers tied with a braided band forms the bottom section. On the splayed foot, clusters of purple grapes interspersed with golden sprigs of grain form lozenges. Anthemion motifs in pink and gold decorate the vase's neck. The handles are in gilt bronze with acanthus leaves and are of superb quality.

Object name:
Made from:
Porcelain -- ormolu -- bronze
Made in:
Sèvres, France
Date made:
70.5 × 36.2 × 32.4 cm (27 3/4 × 14 1/4 × 12 3/4 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
MARK Mark inside neck, printed in blue, that in use from 1815 to 1824 - cipher of Louis XVIII, two L's intertwined and enclosing a fleur-de-lis
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973