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  • Place of origin:

    Stoke-on-Trent (made)

  • Date:

    1862 (exhibited)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carrier-Belleuse, Albert-Ernest, born 1824 - died 1887 (designer)
    Minton (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bone china, painted and gilded

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 10

Object Type
This impressive vase was made especially for display at the 1862 International Exhibition in London. Minton's, like other manufacturers, made their largest and showiest pieces for such international fairs, to demonstrate their technical capabilities, the skill of their painters and the quality of their design. Even so, they often assembled forms already in production to make a new work for the occasion. Here the vase itself is probably a standard shape, but the coiling snakes have been added and the stand of four crouching boys was designed by Albert Ernest Carrier de Belleuse especially for the exhibition.

Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, designer of the stand supporting this huge vase, was a sculptor and modeller. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Over a long career he employed Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), he worked for Doulton, Minton and other English companies, including Coalbrookdale ironworks and from the 1870s he was art director at the Sèvres porcelain factory, near Paris. He produced a number of designs for Minton production in Parian ware, bone china and majolica.

Physical description

The ground colour of the vase is blue. There is a broad band of white around the body painted with a wreath of flowers in natural colours. It has gilt scroll handles, above which are two serpents, in full relief and gilded. The body of the vase rests four crouching figures of boys in unglazed white porcelain.

Place of Origin

Stoke-on-Trent (made)


1862 (exhibited)


Carrier-Belleuse, Albert-Ernest, born 1824 - died 1887 (designer)
Minton (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Bone china, painted and gilded


Height: 95.5 cm, Width: 76 cm, Depth: 35.5 cm base, Diameter: 59 cm

Object history note

Exhibited at the London International Exhibition of 1862. Purchased from the Exhibition.

Descriptive line

A large painted porcelain vase with gilt serpent handles, supported by four crouching putti figures. British (Stoke-on-Trent), 1862. Made by Minton, designed by Albert Carrier de Belleuse.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
It was a great technical challenge to make a vase of this large size and complex form. Time after time Minton's produced spectacular pieces for exhibitions, including fountains as well as large vases such as this one. Their skill was frequently rewarded with prizes and they were quick to exploit their success at exhibitions in their advertising. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Exhibited in the London International Exhibition of 1862.




Painting (image-making); Gilding; Modelling (forming)

Subjects depicted

Putti; Snake (animal); Flowers (plants)


ELISE; British Galleries; Ceramics


Ceramics Collection

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