The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Vase 'sirènes'
  • Vase
  • Vase 'sirènes'
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Probably Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche (1741 - 1812), Designer
    Etienne-Henry Le Guay, The Elder (1719 - 1799), Gilder
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1776
  • Soft-paste porcelain, gilded
  • Object size: 49 x 25.5 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls
    Gilder's mark: 'LG' for Etienne-Henry Le Guay
  • C333
  • Dining Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This model derives its name from the two fish-tailed female figures on both sides, seemingly adorning the vase with reed swags. This motif was popular in gilt-bronze works of the 1770s and 1780s when hardstone vases were often embellished with similar decoration.

    The Siren’s ‘human’ part derives from the female figure of a biscuit group designed by Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche, which suggests he also created this vase model. Decorated with a ‘beau bleu’ ground, the highly elaborate gilding was applied by Etienne-Henry Le Guay, a long-serving worker at the factory and its finest gilder, despite having lost the use of his left hand in a sword fight in 1745.

    With two other vases in the Wallace Collection (C288-9) it formed part of a garniture of five sent by the comte d’Artois to the Prince Velbruck of Liège in 1781 in exchange for four horses. In the nineteenth century they found their way into the collections of the dealer Felix Montfort (also known as the Count of Schomburg, 1836) and Lord Wellesley (Brussels 1846).

    The gilt-bronze stand was probably made in france in the nineteenth century.