The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Vase 'à oreilles', of the first size
  • Vase
  • Vase 'à oreilles', of the first size
  • Manufacture de Vincennes
  • Probably Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis, the Elder (1695 - 1774), Designer
  • Vincennes, France
  • c. 1755
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Object size: 31.9 x 16.6 cm
  • Incised mark: 'ml'
    Incised mark: '2'
  • C243
  • Back State Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This popular model by Chief-designer Jean-Claude Duplessis was introduced in 1754 and remained in production until the 1790s. The design was probably inspired by Chinese vases in the stock of the dealer Lazare Duvaux, which were listed as 'à oreilles' ('oreille' means 'ear' in French).
    The vase is decorated with a turquoise blue 'bleu céleste' ground and painted in with fable-like scenes: on one side a fox is alarming two birds in a tree, while on the other the fox is being caught in a trap. The reserves are edged with exquisitely gilded cartouches of richly varied flowers, garlands and trellis-work. Since both sides of the vase are of equal importance, it was apparently intended to be seen in the round and might thus have been displayed in the middle of a room, against a mirror, or it might have been turned around according to which motive you wished to see.
    Despite the technical improvements at Sèvres during the 1750s, not every object would come out in a perfect state: the vase has sagged to one side, but was nevertheless considered valuable enough to go on sale.