The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Vase 'à monter Daguerre'
  • Pair of mounted vases
  • Vase 'à monter Daguerre'
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751 - 1843), (mounts)
    Possibly Louis-François Lécot (1741 - 1800), Decorator
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1785
  • Soft-paste porcelain and gilt-bronze, gilded
  • C340, Object size: 31.9 x 19.6 cm
    C341, Object size: 32.3 x 19.5 cm
  • C340-1
  • Study
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • As its title indicates, these simple urn-shaped vases – without stem or foot – were intended to be mounted. According to a drawing with corresponding inscription still preserved at Sèvres, the design was ordered on 29 July 1782 by the Parisian dealer Dominique Daguerre, who often collaborated with the manufactory.
    Daguerre would subsequently have commissioned a designer and gilt-bronze founder – possibly the acclaimed Pierre-Philippe Thomire – to create the splendid mounts: a lion-footed base, with two slender sprays of foliage terminating in spiral coils to form handles. Unusually for this model, the blue ‘beau bleau’ ground is not plain, but has been decorated with rich three-colour gilding (yellow, red and green tones).
    Monkeys in land-scapes are shown singing, playing instruments, riding a goat and fishing. Such playful ‘singeries’ (‘monkey-tricks’), in which monkeys are depicted satirically apeing human behaviour, had been highly popular in France since the early eighteenth century but didn’t appear at Sèvres before the 1780s
    The pair was probably acquired by Louis XVI’s aunts, Madame Victoire and Madame Marie-Adélaïde, in 1785 for the exceptionally high price of 900 livres each (reflecting the value of the gilt-bronze mounts).