A vaguely boat-shaped form rides the waves, partly supported by a threatening dragon and lifted up above the rocks by a wave that resembles both a shell and a C-scroll. Its piercings allowed the scent of the potpourri inside to escape.
Enamel painting in bright blue, green, and deep purple further enlivens the extravagant piece. The artisans used a technique called petit feu enamel decoration, firing the glazed and enameled piece in a low-temperature muffle kiln at 700 to 900 degrees, thus permitting a wider and brighter range of colors.
The Sceaux factory probably made this vase for an enthusiastic admirer of the excesses of the Rococo style among Parisian society. Since exuberant design and color distinguish the ceramic pieces made by Jacques Chapelle, who became sole proprietor of the Sceaux manufactory outside Paris in 1759, scholars have attributed this vase to him.