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vase cannelé

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Sèvres (made)

  • Date:

    1761 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fontaine, Jacques (painter)
    Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    soft-paste porcelain, enamelled and gilded

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 26, shelf 5

This vase shape had an amusing unofficial name which has come down to us in some contemporary documents: 'vase à corset' or 'bodice vase'. The name seems fitting when considering the cut away curves of the moulded shape. The shape was one of many designed by Jean-Claude Duplessis and dates from 1754. According to Geoffrey de Bellaigue, who made a detailed study of this shape for his catalogue (see below) it was made in six sizes with covers, the cover from this vase (and its pair) has unfortunately not survived. The pair in the Royal Collection has a deep blue gilded ground for the lower part of shape, emphasizing its similarity to the bodice of a dress. The dealer and marchand-merice r Lazare Duvaux whose sales book survives, bought twelve examples between 20 August 1756 and 1 January 1757. The model appears most frequently in the records from 1755-60 with relatively few being made in the 1760s. According to de Bellaigue: 'The vases may have fallen from grace because their shape was judged too fanciful and delicate for the 1760s and 70s, when neo-classicism was becoming all the rage.'

Geoffrey de Bellaigue. French Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Royal Collection Publications, 2009, 3 vols.

Physical description

Vase of tapering form, the shoulder and upper part fluted, the lower part smooth with a split in the centre forming a deep V, extending at the sides and curling over to form the two foliate handles. The white body is enamelled with garlands of polychrome flowers, the moulding, rim and foot picked out in gold.

Place of Origin

Sèvres (made)


1761 (made)


Fontaine, Jacques (painter)
Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

soft-paste porcelain, enamelled and gilded

Marks and inscriptions

five dots forming a diamond with a dot in the centre (painter's mark for Jacques Fontaine)

Interlaced 'L's enclosing date letter 'I'
Date letter 'I' for 1761, or possibly 1761-1762


Height: 27.3 cm, Diameter: 19.1 cm

Object history note

The vase is one of a pair with 801-1882. The vases probably originally had lids. There is a pair of lidded vases cannelé with a bleu lapis caillouté ground, dated c.1755-7, in the Royal Collection, London (36117.1.a-b and 36117.1.a-b) and a lidded vase of 1754 in the Danish Museum of Art & Design, Copenhagen. A pair, also without lids, the upper part with the bleu lapis caillouté ground, dated c.1755-6, in the J. Pierpont Morgan collection at Wadsworth Athenaeum.

Descriptive line

Vase of soft-paste porcelain, painted with polychrome floral garlands and gilded, painted by Jacques Fontaine, Sèvres porcelain factory, France, 1761.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Svend Eriksen and Geoffrey de Bellaigue, Sèvres Porcelain (London and Boston: Faber & Faber, 1987), pp. 289-290, no. 102.
William King, Catalogue of the Jones Collection, II, Ceramics, ormolu, goldsmiths' work, enamels, sculpture, tapestry, books, and prints (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1924), p. 11, no. 122, illustrated plate 3.
Linda H. Roth and Clare Le Corbeiller, French Eighteenth-Century Porcelain at the Wadsworth Atheneum: The J. Pierpont Morgan Collection (Hartford, Conn.: Wadsworth Atheneum, 2000), p. 111-113, no. 61.
Geoffrey de Bellaigue, French porcelain in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen (London: Royal Collection Enterprises, 2009), pp. 119-122, no.11.


Soft paste porcelain


Moulded; Enamelled; Gilded; Fired

Subjects depicted

Garlands; Flowers


Ceramics; Porcelain; Vases


Ceramics Collection

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