The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Vase 'à tête de lion'
  • Pair of Vases and Covers
  • Vase 'à tête de lion'
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Possibly Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis, the Elder (1695 - 1774), Designer
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1765 - 1770 (vase and cover)
    1700 - 1799
  • Soft-paste porcelain, gilded
  • C282, Object size: 40.6 x 22 cm
    C283, Object size: 40.3 x 22 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls
  • C282-3
  • Front State Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Illustrating the new neoclassical forms which became fashionable in the 1760s, the model combines a simple urn-shape with typical motifs: a fluted body, lions’ masks, laurel garlands, and acanthus tips.
    Prints were an important source of inspiration for these new designs and may also have provided a reference for the lion’s-head decoration on the sides. A gilt-bronze clock with lion’s heads and pelts was engraved by the architect Jean-Louis Le Lorrain (1715-1758) around 1756/7 and an illustration from the ‘2e suite d’Habillement à la Grécque’ (c. 1763), also features lion’s paw pelts.
    The design of the vase’s cover is identical to one made in gilt bronze for a sixteenth-century Urbino maiolica vase. Sèvres’ chief-designer Jean-Claude Duplessis also worked as a gilt-bronze founder throughout his career, and thus might have designed both, the cover of the maiolica vase and the porcelain model.
    Decorated with an underglaze ‘bleu nouveau’ ground (introduced in 1763 to replace the previous underglaze blue), the gilded decoration is of the highest quality and includes finely tooled trophies of roman arms and armour as well as naturalistic details on the lions’ faces and paws.