Three Cs – ‘Capability’, Coventry, Croome

‘Expect the Unexpected’, Croome Court, near High Green, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR8 9DW

The south front of the house seen across the lake at Croome Court Credit: Andrew Butler

The south front of the house seen across the lake at Croome Court
Credit: Andrew Butler

What a lovely co-incidence that in this ‘Capability’ Brown’s 300th Anniversary year I am fortunate enough to be able to write about Croome Court which as well as being Brown’s first major commission was a complete project due to the fact that he was asked in 1751 by the 6th Earl of Coventry to create a house and estate that would be the dernier cri.  The photographs show the resulting building and landscape. Although the outside design and some of the interiors are Brown’s work the Earl later commissioned Robert Adam to design some of the rooms – the Long Gallery, the Library and Tapestry Room.

The Original tapestry Room Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Original tapestry Room
Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Tapestry Room, now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, featured a specially commissioned set of Gobelins tapestries and seat covers. Coventry was one of the great 18th century English collectors of Vincennes and Sèvres porcelains and he asked Adam to design a tripod stand to hold a Sevres jug and basin whose colours reflected those of the room.

Artist Will Datson with ‘Chair Play’ and two of the original chairs Credit: Jack Nelson

Artist Will Datson with ‘Chair Play’ and two of the original chairs
Credit: Jack Nelson

In1948 the family disposed of the house and many of its contents were sold by auction and thus nowadays only about twenty percent of the collection remains.  There are plans to bring these pieces back to the house later this year. The National Trust bought the park in 1996 and started on its restoration and in 2007 the house was purchased by the Croome Heritage Trust and they have granted a long lease to the National Trust.

‘Chair Play’ in the Entrance Hall Credit: Jack Nelson

‘Chair Play’ in the Entrance Hall
Credit: Jack Nelson

Contemporary art installations have been placed in the house to evoke the idea of ‘expect the unexpected’ but are inspired by and use pieces that were originally in the house. Upon entering the building one sees the artist Will Datson’s original take on the idea of hall chairs through his 2.5 metre high installation. He says of it “It was my task to display the original hall chairs in a new way. We all see chairs every day, and usually ignore them, so I’ve attempted to create something out-of-the-ordinary, dramatic and playful, that’s hard to ignore.”

The ‘Golden Box’ in the Dining Room at Croome Credit: Jack Nelson

The ‘Golden Box’ in the Dining Room at Croome
Credit: Jack Nelson

In the dining room, whose plasterwork was painted by members of the Hare Krishna Movement who used the house as their headquarters (1979-84), visitors are confronted by a 2 metre high golden box which contains beautiful examples of Meissen, Worcester and Sèvres porcelains from Croome’s remarkable collection which have been installed by the noted artist Bouke de Vries to form a dazzling ceramics treasury. He simply sums it up saying “It’s been extraordinary to work on this project with the amazing team at Croome”.

Artist Bouke de Vries making the final finishing touches to the ‘Golden Box’ Credit: Jack Nelson

Artist Bouke de Vries making the final finishing touches to the ‘Golden Box’
Credit: Jack Nelson

In the Lord’s Dressing Room you will discover two 18th century Adam-style commodes made for the house by the celebrated firm of Mayhew & Ince who also supplied the seat furniture for the Tapestry Room.  It is worth remembering that the 6th Earl also bought French furniture for Croome in Paris from A la Couronne d’Or, the shop of the renowned marchand-mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier. There is also a portrait of Barbara St John, the Earl’s second wife.

Beautifully crafted 18th century Adamesque commodes with the portrait of Barbara St John in the background. Credit: Jack Nelson

Beautifully crafted 18th century Adamesque commodes with the portrait of Barbara St John in the background.
Credit: Jack Nelson

While Croome’s Tapestry Room is now bare of its glorious contents it inspired the idea of bringing Grayson Perry’s tapestries ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ to Croome (until 11th September 2016). The six large-scale works, inspired by Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, tell the story of Tim Rakewell and many of the people and things depicted reflect events that Perry encountered in his life. A 1994 earthenware vase by Perry, entitled Spirit Jar is also on show.

Visitors looking at the Grayson Perry Tapestries Credit: Peter Young

Visitors looking at the Grayson Perry Tapestries
Credit: Peter Young

‘Capability’ Brown and the Earl had become friends and thirty years after he started his transformation at Croome he still visited there and indeed Croome was described as his ‘first and most favourite child’.

Visitors looking at the Grayson Perry Tapestries Credit: Peter Young

Visitors looking at the Grayson Perry Tapestries
Credit: Peter Young

In 1783 Brown died while on his way home from dining with the Earl at his London residence. The Earl had a monument erected in Brown’s memory and it bears the inscription:

To the Memory of Lancelot Brown

Who by the powers of his inimitable and creative genius formed this garden scene out of a morass.

The Coade stone monument to Lancalot "Capability" Brown by the lake at Croome Court.The memorial was erected in 1797 following the death of Brown in 1783.

The Coade stone monument to Lancalot “Capability” Brown by the lake at Croome Court.The memorial was erected in 1797 following the death of Brown in 1783.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome

Inside the Golden Box is an amazing collection of porcelain Credit: Jack Nelson

Inside the Golden Box is an amazing collection of porcelain
Credit: Jack Nelson

For those of you interested in learning more about the 6th Earls collection Sèvres I recommend:

THE SIXTH EARL OF COVENTRY’S PURCHASES OF SÈVRES PORCELAIN IN PARIS AND LONDON IN THE 1760s by Rosalind Savill in the French Porcelain Society Journal, Volume V 2015

A further display of porcelain in the Dining Room Credit: Peter Young

A further display of porcelain in the Dining Room
Credit: Peter Young

 

Grayson Perry (b. 1960), The Upper Class at Bay, 2012 Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London and British Council. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from Alix Partners.

Grayson Perry (b. 1960), The Upper Class at Bay, 2012 Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London and British Council. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from Alix Partners.

 

Croome Court Credit: David Norton

Croome Court
Credit: David Norton

MASTERPIECE 2016: SELECTION 2

Masterpiece London 2016, The Bull Ring Gate Entrance, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, 30thJune – 6th July 2016

 

Steinway & Sons White Spirio Heliconia (the Lalique piano) 2016 Courtesy Steinway & Sons

Steinway & Sons
White Spirio Heliconia (the Lalique piano)
2016
Courtesy Steinway & Sons

 

Lowell Libson Thomas Gainsborough Read Admiral Thomas Graves 1788 Courtesy Lowell Libson

Lowell Libson
Thomas Gainsborough
Read Admiral Thomas Graves
1788
Courtesy Lowell Libson

 

Wallace Chan Damask Silk Necklace 2016 DIF Diamond 54pcs 25.22ct Trillion-cut Pink Tourmaline 124pcs 21.38ct Fancy Colored Diamond, Pink Sapphire, White Agate Courtesy Wallace Chan

Wallace Chan
Damask Silk Necklace
2016
DIF Diamond 54pcs 25.22ct
Trillion-cut Pink Tourmaline 124pcs 21.38ct
Fancy Colored Diamond, Pink Sapphire, White Agate
Courtesy Wallace Chan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Uniacke The Louis XIV Walnut ‘Os de Mouton’ Sofa France circa 1730 104 x 239 x 77cm Courtesy Rose Uniacke

Rose Uniacke
The Louis XIV Walnut ‘Os de Mouton’ Sofa
France
circa 1730
104 x 239 x 77cm
Courtesy Rose Uniacke

 

Axel Vervoordt Monumental fragment from a standing male statue Leg and Feet on base Roman 2nd century A.D. Courtesy Axel Vervoodt

Axel Vervoordt
Monumental fragment from a standing male statue Leg and Feet on base
Roman 2nd century A.D.
Courtesy Axel Vervoodt

 

Adrian Sassoon A French 18th Century Soft-Paste Vincennes Porcelain Punch Bowl (jatte à ponche) c.1753 Courtesy Adrian Sassoon London

Adrian Sassoon
A French 18th Century Soft-Paste Vincennes Porcelain Punch Bowl (jatte à ponche)
c.1753
Courtesy Adrian Sassoon London

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com

Masterpiece London 2016 – Preview

Masterpiece London 2016, The Bull Ring Gate Entrance, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3, 30thJune – 6th July 2016

Nazy Vassegh, CEO of Masterpiece with J.F. Courville, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the RBC Wealth Management 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Nazy Vassegh, CEO of Masterpiece with J.F. Courville, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the RBC Wealth Management
2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Now in its 7th edition one can easily understand why Masterpiece has become a magnet for collectors and museum curators from around the world.  There is a great emphasis on quality and connoisseurship and the pieces on show reflect more than five thousand years of art history – and yes they are for sale.

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Masterpiece’s chief executive Nazy Vassegh says: ‘I am delighted to announce so many exciting additions to this year’s fair. Masterpiece 2016 will have unrivalled depth and quality, and I am pleased that Masterpiece continues to strengthen every edition. We are looking forward to another great year.’

It truly is a must visit fair and allow yourself plenty of time because there are so many exciting things to see and tempt. Like me you may well want visit more than once.

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015 Courtesy Masterpiece London

Vetting during Masterpiece London 2015
Courtesy Masterpiece London

Over the coming days I will post varied selections of what is on show.

 

http://www.masterpiecefair.com

FRENCH PORCELAIN AT THE FRICK COLLECTION

FROM SÈVRES TO FIFTH AVENUE: FRENCH PORCELAIN AT THE FRICK COLLECTION, The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, near Fifth Avenue, until 24th April 2016

Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory Model by: Jean-Claude Duplessis (c.1695- 1774) Pot-Pourri Myrte with Flemish Scenes and Landscapes, c.1762 soft-paste porcelain on gilt bronze plinth 14 3/16 x 7 1/8 in. (36 x 18.1 cm) Henry Clay Frick Bequest Accession number: 1918.9.10

Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Model by: Jean-Claude Duplessis (c.1695- 1774)
Pot-Pourri Myrte with Flemish Scenes and Landscapes, c.1762
soft-paste porcelain on gilt bronze plinth
14 3/16 x 7 1/8 in. (36 x 18.1 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest
Accession number: 1918.9.10

Now a museum, the building was originally built by Henry Clay Frick as a home and in it he wanted to emulate the great houses of the grandest European collectors by combining Old Masters with the best of the decorative arts. He achieved this with the help of the celebrated art dealer Sir Joseph Duveen.

Tea Service (milk jug, tea pot, sugar bowl) Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory French, 1767 Soft-paste porcelain Teapot: 51/2 x 7 3/16 x 4 1/8 in. (14 x 18.3 x 10.5 cm) Sugar bowl: h. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm), diam. 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm) Milk jug: 4 5/8 x 5 x 3 1/2 in. (11.7 x 12.7 x 8.9 cm) Henry Clay Frick Bequest (1918.9.21−31)

Tea Service (milk jug, tea pot, sugar bowl)
Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
French, 1767
Soft-paste porcelain
Teapot: 51/2 x 7 3/16 x 4 1/8 in. (14 x 18.3 x 10.5 cm)
Sugar bowl: h. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm), diam. 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm)
Milk jug: 4 5/8 x 5 x 3 1/2 in. (11.7 x 12.7 x 8.9 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest (1918.9.21−31)

Among the treasures on show is a wonderful group of Sèvres Porcelain which is being celebrated in this special exhibition organized by Charlotte Vignon, the Collection’s Curator of Decorative Arts and made possible by Sidney R. Knafel and Londa Weisman.

Tea Service (saucer, cup, cup and saucer) Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory French, 1767 Soft-paste porcelain Cups: 2 3/8 x 3 11/16 x 2 7/8 in. (6 x 9.4 x 7.3 cm) Saucers: h. 1 13/8 in. (3.5 cm), diam. 5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm) Henry Clay Frick Bequest (1918.9.21−31)

Tea Service (saucer, cup, cup and saucer)
Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
French, 1767
Soft-paste porcelain
Cups: 2 3/8 x 3 11/16 x 2 7/8 in. (6 x 9.4 x 7.3 cm)
Saucers: h. 1 13/8 in. (3.5 cm), diam. 5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest (1918.9.21−31)

The Portico Gallery exhibition examines both the use of Sèvres in the ancien régime and its appeal in America’s Gilded Age and for this items normally on display and others usually in storage have been brought together.

Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory Painted by: Jean-Baptiste Tandart  (active 1754- 1803) Plate: Part of a Dessert Service with Flowers and Turquoise Blue Ribbons, 1782 Soft-paste porcelain 1 x 9 3/8 in. (2.5 x 23.8 cm) Henry Clay Frick Bequest Accession number: 1918.9.36

Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Painted by: Jean-Baptiste Tandart  (active 1754- 1803)
Plate: Part of a Dessert Service with Flowers and Turquoise Blue Ribbons, 1782
Soft-paste porcelain
1 x 9 3/8 in. (2.5 x 23.8 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest
Accession number: 1918.9.36

Among the pieces Frick acquired is the wonderful Potpourri Vase “à Vaisseau” and a pair of side vases (Vases “à Oreilles,”) usually in the Fragonard Room.  Two years later in 1918 a boudoir was created on the second floor for Mrs Frick (it was later moved to the main floor) and Duveen supplied a garniture of three potpourri vase feuilles de mirte for the mantelpiece and in a cabinet in the room there were pieces with a turquoise blue (bleu céleste) ground colour. Further acquisitions included a pair of Vincennes Vases Duplessis “à Enfants” and a 1767 turquoise ground tea service decorated with birds.

Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory Painted by: Jean-Louis Morin (active 1754- 1787) Gilded by: Henri-Martin Prévost aîné (active 1757- 1797) Water Jug with Marine Scenes, Turquoise Blue Ground, 1781 soft-paste porcelain 8 1/4 x 5 5/8 x 5 1/8 in. (21 x 14.3 x 13 cm) Gift of Miss Helen Clay Frick, 1934 Accession number: 1934.9.44

Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Painted by: Jean-Louis Morin (active 1754- 1787)
Gilded by: Henri-Martin Prévost aîné (active 1757- 1797)
Water Jug with Marine Scenes, Turquoise Blue Ground, 1781
soft-paste porcelain
8 1/4 x 5 5/8 x 5 1/8 in. (21 x 14.3 x 13 cm)
Gift of Miss Helen Clay Frick, 1934
Accession number: 1934.9.44

The collection has been added to over the years with gifts from other family members and generous donors.  The Vase Japon, for example, was bought by the Trustees to mark the retirement of Anne L. Poulet, the Museum’s Director, in 2011.

Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory Gilded by: Jean-Armand Fallot active between: 1764 - 1790 Vase Japon, 1774 Hard paste porcelain with overglaze and gilt painted decoration, and gilt silver hardware 20.3 cm (8 in.) Height: 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm) Purchase in honor of Anne L. Poulet, 2011 Accession number: 2011.9.01

Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Gilded by: Jean-Armand Fallot active between: 1764 – 1790
Vase Japon, 1774
Hard paste porcelain with overglaze and gilt painted decoration, and gilt silver hardware
20.3 cm (8 in.) Height: 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)
Purchase in honor of Anne L. Poulet, 2011
Accession number: 2011.9.01

To me this is a show which underlines the beauty and enduring appeal of Sèvres Porcelain to successive generations of collectors and admirers.

Martin Carlin (attributed to) (c. 1730 - 1785) Painted by: Edmé-François Bouillat (active 1785-1793) Gilded by: Michel-Barnabé Chauvaux l'aîné (1752 - 1788) Directed Production: Dominique Daguerre Gilt-Bronze Tripod Table with Sèvres Porcelain Plaques, c.1783 gilt-bronze, oak, and Sèvres soft-paste porcelain 29 1/2 x 14 5/8 in. (74.9 x 37.1 cm) Henry Clay Frick Bequest Accession number: 1918.5.61

Martin Carlin (attributed to) (c. 1730 – 1785)
Painted by: Edmé-François Bouillat (active 1785-1793)
Gilded by: Michel-Barnabé Chauvaux l’aîné (1752 – 1788)
Directed Production: Dominique Daguerre
Gilt-Bronze Tripod Table with Sèvres Porcelain Plaques, c.1783
gilt-bronze, oak, and Sèvres soft-paste porcelain
29 1/2 x 14 5/8 in. (74.9 x 37.1 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest
Accession number: 1918.5.61

 

 

Footnote:

Frick Collection Dec ArtsThis image of the cover of The Frick Collection Decorative Arts Handbook, which was published last year, depicts the Potpourri Vase “à Vaisseau” mentioned above.  I gather that they are selling out quite quickly so do get in touch with the Museum should you require one.

 

http://www.frick.org

Art Antiques London 2015

Art Antiques London, Albert Memorial West Lawn, Kensington Gardens, London SW7, (Opposite the Royal Albert Hall), 12th June – 18th, June, 2015

The queue outside Art Antiques London, 2014

The queue outside Art Antiques London, 2014

This is now the sixth edition of a deservedly popular fair which offers a wide range of art and antiques, including many of museum quality and which draws collectors from around the world.

'Landscape with trees’  Alfred Wallis 1855 – 1942 Oil on board with nails Anthony Hepworth

‘Landscape with trees’
Alfred Wallis 1855 – 1942
Oil on board with nails
Anthony Hepworth

The Fair has a well-established academic programme which as well as important lectures includes this year Study Days for The Silver Society, The English Ceramics Circle and The Jewellery Historians.

James W. Buel and Verdi Giuseppe, 10 Vols. The Great Operas with numerous illustrations. Exquisitely bound in full morocco, folios, with original boxes, each volume comes with an extra suite of plates (3 hand-coloured). Limited to 50 sets. 1899  Imperial Fine Books

James W. Buel and Verdi Giuseppe, 10 Vols. The Great Operas with numerous illustrations. Exquisitely bound in full morocco, folios, with original boxes, each volume comes with an extra suite of plates (3 hand-coloured). Limited to 50 sets. 1899
Imperial Fine Books

Many will agree with what Anna Somers Cocks said in The Art Newspaper (20 June 2013) “like the Old Master drawings fair in Paris, but unlike most other fairs today,… is an encounter between people who really want to talk art and handle objects knowledgeably.”

A good rummer, the bucket bowl engraved with a mail coach and four horses, the reverse with initials GB Height 16.2 cms c.1820-30, English Glass Delomosne & Son Ltd.

A good rummer, the bucket bowl engraved with a mail coach and four horses, the reverse with initials GB
Height 16.2 cms
c.1820-30, English
Glass
Delomosne & Son Ltd.

 

White porcelain animal figures from Vincennes, Saint-Cloud and Vienna, 18th century Christophe Perles

White porcelain animal figures from Vincennes, Saint-Cloud and Vienna, 18th century
Christophe Perles

Japanese silver kodansu decorated with ho-o birds among paulownia trees,  signed Ginsei Hattori, Meiji Period.  The mythical phoenix in Japan is a symbol of justice and fidelity. Laura Bordignon

Japanese silver kodansu decorated with ho-o birds among paulownia trees,
signed Ginsei Hattori, Meiji Period.
The mythical phoenix in Japan is a symbol of justice and fidelity.
Laura Bordignon

 

 

Set of six chairs,  Sri Lanka, Colombo, second half 18th century. Coromandel wood and later upholstery.  Height: 101 cm, width: 52.5 cm, depth: 46.5 cm.  Provenance: Dutch private collection.  Roell Fine Art

Set of six chairs,
Sri Lanka, Colombo, second half 18th century. Coromandel wood and later upholstery.
Height: 101 cm, width: 52.5 cm, depth: 46.5 cm.
Provenance: Dutch private collection.
Roell Fine Art

 

Famille rose figural group of a dancing couple, modelled after the Meissen original, the gentleman wearing a yellow hat, white-ruff collar, blue waist jacket incised with scrolls and red breeches, the lady with a red waist coat similarly incised and long flowing skirt with purple flowers, all on a shaped naturalistic form base, modelled and moulded with relief flowers. 5 ⅝ ins, 14.3 cm high Qianlong, circa 1752. Marchant

Famille rose figural group of a dancing couple, modelled after the Meissen original, the gentleman wearing a yellow hat, white-ruff collar, blue waist jacket incised with scrolls and red breeches, the lady with a red waist coat similarly incised and long flowing skirt with purple flowers, all on a shaped naturalistic form base, modelled and moulded with relief flowers.
5 ⅝ ins, 14.3 cm high
Qianlong, circa 1752.
Marchant

 

A batik sarung from the studio of Catherina Van Oosterom in Banyumas, Java. During the mid 19th century a new type of batik was invented by a small group of Indo-European women, working traditionally with natural dyes and molten wax applied to cotton by means of a pen (canting). This genre is known as the Indische school and combines both Asian and Western design elements.  Jonathan Hope

A batik sarung from the studio of Catherina Van Oosterom in Banyumas, Java. During the mid 19th century a new type of batik was invented by a small group of Indo-European women, working traditionally with natural dyes and molten wax applied to cotton by means of a pen (canting). This genre is known as the Indische school and combines both Asian and Western design elements.
Jonathan Hope

 

 

 

http://www.haughton.com

French and other porcelains of the 18th century

The Lady Cynthia Postan Collection of French and other porcelains of the 18th century, E & H Manners, 66C Kensington Church Street, W8, 21st – 29th May 2015

Catalogue no. 43 A VINCENNES TEAPOT AND  A COVER (théière ronde), circa 1750-52

Catalogue no. 43
A VINCENNES TEAPOT AND A COVER (théière ronde), circa 1750-52

This is a great opportunity to acquire pieces from a gifted and true collector who not only bought the best from leading dealers such as Winifred Williams, Pierre de Regaini and Lévy-Lacaze, but was also equally keen to acquire slightly less perfect pieces that were both attractive and helpful in increasing her knowledge of the subject.

Catalogue no. 21 A CHANTILLY KAKIEMON FEEDING VESSEL (biberon), circa 1740

Catalogue no. 21
A CHANTILLY KAKIEMON FEEDING VESSEL (biberon), circa 1740

She first started buying in Paris in the 1950s when her husband Sir Michael Postan, professor of Economic History at Cambridge was at the Sorbonne. He was a collector of Chinese ceramics, especially Song monochrome wares, and no doubt this influenced Lady Cynthia’s interest in the Japanese-inspired decoration found on Chantilly porcelain. She was also interested in Vincennes and early Sèvres.

Catalogue no.16 A CHANTILLY KAKIEMON MUSTARD POT and associated cover, circa 1745

Catalogue no.16
A CHANTILLY KAKIEMON MUSTARD POT and associated cover, circa 1745

It is an exquisite exhibition which is complemented by the finely produced catalogue that accompanies it.

Catalogue no. 47 A VINCENNES OR EARLY SÈVRES COOLER (seau à topette), 1756

Catalogue no. 47
A VINCENNES OR EARLY SÈVRES COOLER (seau à topette), 1756

 

http://www.europeanporcelain.com

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!