The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
'Piédestal 'à oignon'
  • Pair of Bulb Pots
  • 'Piédestal 'à oignon'
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • François Binet (1730 - 1775), Painter
  • Sèvres, France
  • 1758
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Object size: 14.9 x 9.2 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls enclosing 'E' the date letter for 1758
    Painter's mark: 'T' for François Binet
    Incised mark: 'ae'
  • C230-1
  • Back State Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The Vincennes/Sèvres manufactory was remarkable not only for the design of its vases, but also for their functionality. This set of vases would have been used to grow bulb plants indoors. The main section holds a smaller container inserted through an opening at the top, whose longish, narrow shape would provide ideal stability to grow larger flowers such as hyacinths in water. When bulbs were out of season, the vases could be used to display either cut flowers or porcelain flowers. Bulb pots, flower vases and flower pots were all ways of bringing the garden indoors and were at their most popular at Sèvres in the 1750s.
    The 'piédestaux à oignon' were mostly sold in sets of two. Decorated with green-ground scrolls forming a trellis pattern and painted with delicate flower garlands, the foot shows a simplified Greek-key pattern, which makes it one of the earliest neo-classical motifs to appear on Sèvres pieces.