The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Possibly vase 'à flame'
  • Vase and Cover
  • Possibly vase 'à flame'
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1770 - 1775
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Object size: 39.4 x 19.4 cm
  • Incised mark: 'PT'
  • C320
  • Study
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The title of this urn-shaped model may be a reference to its flame-shaped knop. Decorated with a turquoise-blue ‘bleu céleste’ (‘heavenly blue’) ground, the vase features sculptural laurel garlands wound over a band at the shoulder, which seemingly support an oval medallion on each side.
    The one on the front shows a cherub equipped with a ‘fleur de lis’-decorated shield, the scales of justice, a sword and - taking up the fire-theme - a tongue of flames over his head.

    These symbols of the French crown and Justice are unusual motifs on Sèvres wares and possibly commemorate Louis XV’s control of the juridical system of France after abolition of the parliaments in 1771. This is supported by the inscription of this date on two ‘vases’a boulons’ in the Wallace Collection (see C314-15), which may have formed a set with this piece. Alternatively, it may have been acquired for the conde d’Aranda – the Spanish Ambassador to Paris – in 1775.

    The gilt-bronze stand is probably French and dates from the nineteenth century.