Potpourri à Vaisseau

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory

The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection
New York City, United States

The highly original design for this pot-pourri à vaisseau (potpourri in the form of a ship) was created in 1757, most likely by the Sèvres manufactory’s artistic director, Jean-Claude Duplessis. The piece can be dated to about 1759, the year that Sèvres began producing potpourri ships of this size (initially, they were smaller). The painters and gilders responsible for its decoration juxtaposed grounds of apple green and dark blue, the latter enriched with gold in a caillouté (pebble-like) pattern. The colorful imagery and exotic birds on the front and back reserves are by Louis-Denis Armand l’aîné (act. 1745−88), a prominent artist who specialized in painting birds and landscapes. Armand also painted the birds on two related vases à oreilles in The Frick Collection. Gold, the use of which was exclusive to the Sèvres manufactory, is generously applied along the contours of the piece to emphasize its bold shape.


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