The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Cuvette à fleurs 'à masques'
  • Flower Vase
  • Cuvette à fleurs 'à masques'
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Probably Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis, the Elder (1695 - 1774), Designer
  • Sèvres, France
  • 1758
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Object size: 22.8 x 33.4 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls enclosing 'E' the date letter for 1758
    Incised mark: Triangle
  • C225
  • Back State Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This lavish vase is the first of three ship-shaped models chief designer Jean-Claude Duplessis (op. 1748-1774) created for the Sèvres manufactory in the 1750s (see C248 and C256 for the other models). The naval theme is playfully echoed in a wave-like neck and stand, and in the elaborately sculpted masks which gave this model its name. Recalling the fanciful design of figureheads, the marine monsters have long moustaches and reeds woven through their hair.
    Despite their visual appeal, only comparatively few 'cuvettes à masques' were made and the example in the Wallace Collection is particularly unusual with its two interlaced L’s - the cypher of the French kings - painted on the front. Rarely found on porcelain, they suggest a royal patron and recall the decoration on a gold jewelled 'nef' (a ship-shaped table ornament), once owned by Louis XIV. The vase may originally have formed a garniture with two similarly decorated vases 'urne antique', now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.