The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Vase 'à jet d'eau'
  • Pair of Vases and Covers
  • Vase 'à jet d'eau'
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Possibly Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis, the Elder (1695 - 1774), Designer
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1766 (vase and cover)
  • Soft-paste porcelain and gilt-bronze, gilded
  • Object size: 35.3 x 26 cm
  • Incised mark: A scrolling 'C.D'
  • C284-5
  • Back State Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Taking its title from the fountain-themed shape and decoration, this lavish model features elaborately sculpted and gilded dolphins on both sides – a motif that has been associated with the heir to the throne of France since medieval times ('dauphin' means dolphin in French). The model was introduced in in 1765 and thus may have commemorated the future Louis XVI becoming dauphin on the death of his father.
    Combining a neoclassical shape with the ornate abundance of earlier designs, this may be one of the later creations by chief designer Jean-Claude Duplessis père, who had created some of the most exuberant rococo vases in the 1750s.
    Decorated with an overglaze blue ‘bleu nouveau’ ground (introduced in 1763 to replace the previous underglaze blue), gilding is applied generously on the water cascade, while the dolphins are worked up with naturalistic details.