A garniture of three Sèvres « vases à monter »

A late Louis XV gilt bronze-mounted Sèvres soft paste bleu céleste
porcelain garniture of three pot-pourri vases (vases à monter) –circa  1768-1770

Central vase height: 29 cm. (11 ½ in.)     Central vase width: 21.5 cm. (8 ½ in.)

Pair of vases height: 23 cm. (9 in.)     Pair of vases width: 15.5 cm. (6 in.)


Retailed by the marchand-mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier



Collection of Madame Jules Fribourg, sold Paris, 28 May 1969, lot 62



S.Eriksen, Early Neo-Classicism in France, London, 1974, pl. 242 and p. 363 (ill.)


The Sèvres factory from around 1764 produced vases à monter intended to be fitted with gilt bronze mounts. These vases took one of three main forms and were sold largely to marchand-merciers who then embellished them. These mounts in turn tend to conform to five basic patterns, which suggests that each marchand-mercier had their own signature design. The earlier vases were glazed in solid ground colours – probably in imitation of Chinese porcelain – although by 1770 invoices exist for pieces decorated like these with green and blue grounds scattered with foliate wreaths centred by roses. Vases with mounts identical to these were marketed by the marchand-mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier (circa 1720-1785) who counted Madame du Barry amongst his most important clients. In September 1770, du Barry purchased a garniture of five vases for 942 livres from Poirier described as bleu céleste à petites Roses et montées en bronze d’oré d’or moulu.


A vase with a mount identical to the central vase makes up part of a garniture of five vases at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut (inv. 1917.1096) reproduced in L. H. Roth and C. Le Corbeiller, French Eighteenth-Century Porcelain at the Wadsworth Atheneum: The J. Pierpont Morgan Collection, Hartford, 2000, pp. 156-158, no. 74.

An identical garniture is illustrated in G. and R. Wannenes, Les bronzes ornementaux et les objets montés, Milan, 2004, p. 336, and another identical one with a green ground was in the Collection of Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, sold Sotheby’s New York, 20 May 1992, lot 31 (illustrated op. cit..).

Marks on the central vase

The mark of the flower painter François Binet (active at Sèvres 1750-1775). The mark of the gilder Jean-Baptiste-Emmanuel Vandé père (active at Sèvres 1753-1779).

Marks on the pair of vases

‘B’ for the gilder François Jean-Pierre Boulanger (active at Sèvres 1754-1785).