BOOK REVIEW: The Belvedere Collection

Vincennes and Early Sèvres Porcelain From the Belvedere Collection
Joanna Gwilt
£60.00 HB
ISBN 9781851777730
270 x 216 mm 256 pp
1000 col
BIC: AFP

Vincennes and Early Sevres Porcelain NEW ARTWORK

What does one say about this delight of a book which looks at the wonderful porcelain of Vincennes and early Sèvres in what is one of the most comprehensive collections of rare, early pieces from this French porcelain factory? The only answer is to buy it!

 JUG (COVER AND HANDLE MISSING) (pot à bouillon/marmite) Vincennes, soft-paste porcelain c.1746/7  (Belvedere Collection)

JUG (COVER AND HANDLE MISSING)
(pot à bouillon/marmite) Vincennes, soft-paste porcelain c.1746/7
(Belvedere Collection)

It provides a wonderful survey of the early years of the factory by both giving a welcome history and through the objects themselves. One can see that the rival Meissen manufactory influenced the early porcelain decoration and how the factory’s own style evolved and began to include detailed gilding and ground colours. As well as useful and decorative ware there is also a fine group of sculptural figures. Noted artists such as François Boucher and Oudry provided inspiration for the decoration and earlier etchings were also a decorative source.

VASE (?vase Duplessis Urne/?vase Duplessis à fleurs) c.1750/51Provenance: Elizabeth Parke Firestone Collection, USA Exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1956, no. 418  (Belvedere Collection)

VASE (?vase Duplessis Urne/?vase Duplessis à fleurs)
c.1750/51Provenance:
Elizabeth Parke Firestone Collection, USA
Exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1956, no. 418
(Belvedere Collection)

One can only admire the taste, perseverance and determination that went into putting this stunning collection together. This shows the factory before the opulent wares we more usually associate with Sèvres became more common; a Meissen collector friend said of the book that it was a pleasure to go through, much more so than a book on later Sèvres collections.

 Vincennes/Sèvres soft-paste porcelain, Poeny (paeonia suffruticosa), c.1745–55, Dia. 10.5cm (Belvedere Collection)

Vincennes/Sèvres soft-paste porcelain,
Poeny (paeonia suffruticosa), c.1745–55,
Dia. 10.5cm (Belvedere Collection)

Thanks are due to Joanna Gwilt for her work on this book. She is certainly qualified to write it having been the Assistant Curator at the Royal Collection and also at London’s Wallace Collection. She is also the author of French Porcelain for English Palaces: Sèvres from the Royal Collection (2009). There is also an ebook to accompany the printed version containing additional photographs, showing every piece in close detail. What more can you ask for? As I suggested earlier this should be in every serious enthusiast’s library!

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