The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Vase 'pot pourri à vaisseau' or 'pot pourri en navire', of the first size
  • Pot-pourri Vase and Cover
  • Vase 'pot pourri à vaisseau' or 'pot pourri en navire', of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Attributed to Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis, the Elder (1695 - 1774), Designer
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1761
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Object size: 44.1 x 36.9 cm
  • C256
  • Back State Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This spectacular piece is the last and most elaborate of three ship-shaped vase models introduced during the 1750s (see C225 and C248 for the other models). Resting on a wave-patterned foot, its 'portholes' on the shoulder, figureheads with browsprits on the sides, and the sails, ropes and pennon on the cover are a playful take on the ship theme.
    The complex piercings on the cover are not only decorative, but also highly functional: Intended as a pot-pourri vase to be filled with perfumed flowers, herbs and spices, the openings would have allowed the perfume to permeate.
    Decorated with blue and green ground colours and richly varied gilding, the vase shows birds in landscapes painted on both sides. A set of similarly decorated 'vases à oreilles' at Waddesdon Manor may originally have formed a garniture with this piece.
    The boat shape has long been associated with the arms of the city of Paris, in the context of contemporary political events it might however refer to the recent French naval victories in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763).
    The popularity of Sèvres porcelain with English collectors in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is demonstrated by the presence of all ten known examples of this model in British collections by the mid-nineteenth century.