The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Pot-pourri vase
  • Pot-pourri vase
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France and China
  • c. 1745 (French mounts)
    1725 - 1750 (Chinese porcelain)
  • Porcelain, enamel paint and gilt bronze
  • Height: 31.5 cm
    Width: 36 cm
  • F115
  • Small Drawing Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • A pair with F116. The Chinese porcelain of these vases has been transformed by the addition of highly fashionable gilt-bronze mounts. No longer the lidded bowls they were originally intended to be, they have become pot-pourri vases, with pierced necks through which the pleasant odours of the fragrant petals could permeate and scent a room. They are examples of the kind of goods sold by Parisian marchand merciers, or luxury goods retailers, who sought to create novel and innovative items for their wealthy clientele to buy. What were once Oriental objects have become pieces of French decorative art that would have been highly valued for their exotic connotations and their contemporary style. The mounts on the vases incorporate shells and coral motifs which serve to underline the exotic nature of the porcelain, but also highlight the aquatic elements of the rococo style. Shells and naturalia were collected by art connoisseurs in the middle decades of the eighteenth century and these pot pourri vases would have been perfectly in harmony with the display of such a collection in a domestic interior.