• Date: 1740 - 1745 (German Meissen porcelain)
    c. 1745 (French mounts)
  • Medium: Porcelain, enamel paint, plaster and gilt bronze
  • Height: 81 cm
  • Width: 48 cm
  • Inv: F103
  • Location: Small Drawing Room
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Further Reading
  • Fine examples of the way in which valuable porcelain was made even more fashionable in the eighteenth century by the application of gilt-bronze mounts, this pair of ewers (F103 and F104) comprises spectacular vases of Meissen porcelain that have been transformed into French-style decorative art. With their scrolled and pierced gilt-bronze rims, bases and handles, they would have fitted harmoniously into the interior of an elite Parisian house of the mid-eighteenth century when the Rococo style ruled supreme. The porcelain is decorated with applied white flowers — guelder roses — in low relief, except for four reserves which are framed by raised gilt borders and painted with scenes after Antoine Watteau. Painted decoration after Watteau was first used at the Meissen manufactory in 1738 and the factory later purchased engravings after the French artist to provide designs for its decorators.

    Some of the gilt-bronze mounts, including the birds, are stamped with the ‘crowned C’ mark, which suggests that the mounted ewers were sold in Paris between 1745–9. The different character of the birds, however, is noticeable.