Gorgeous Antique French Sevres Enamel & Ormolu 6" Posy Vase PAIR, HP Flowers & 'Jewels'
Absolutely gorgeous & rare matched PAIR of antique French Sevres enamel 6" vases, each with a deep cobalt blue enamel base, hand painted floral decoration front & back and an ornate gold enamel & turquoise 'jewel' accenting! Aren't these fabulous! Each standing 5 7/8" tall and the bases, with the gilt ormolu feet, are 2 3/4" wide. Striking works of art! This type of enamel work is arduous - painstaking process of layering powdered enamel which has been suspended in a liquid medium, then kiln firing it to melt the enamels. It's only when the enamels melt under the extreme heat, becoming glassine and as you see it here, that the actual color emerges, so to learn this process takes many years and great patience and skill. Until it comes out of the kiln, all those brilliant colors look like so much muddy mauves and blues and grays globbed together - nothing at all like the finished product. Many mistake this work for being ceramic, but it is not. The enamel has more of a glass-like finish and texture, and like glass, it also can crack, chip, be demolished by mishandling, leaving the underlying copper (sometimes silver) metal exposed. Kiln-fired enamel on copper, and in the signature style that we can identify as having come from the artisans of the Sevres community outside Paris, rather than the Limoges enamelists whose work took a different form. An enamel that shows all the attributes of those we see in museums and auction catalogues identified as being Sevres enamel, having to do with the combination of semi-translucent bases with ornate scrolling gold decoration and raised 'jewels' in the process of enameling. This does not mean it is from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Sevres, by the way, but as with the Limoges decorative arts community, many arts came from the decorative arts community of Sevres, France, as well. A beautiful & rare PAIR, don't miss them!
Good-very good condition. These are kiln-fired enamel on shaped copper. The old enamels are rather fragile - a bit like fine porcelain or glass, and so often get damaged over time. This pair has just gotten back from our professional enamel restorer where there were a few chips (around the base portion of the vase, where it meets the actual footed base) and/or hairline cracks repaired. As of listing, there are no chips, no visible cracks and you'd need to look closely to see the touch-up enamel repairs. There is some wear and/or loss to the gilding around the upper rims, both have some denting (one more than the other). The original gilt copper inserts are intact but also have a small dent here & there. See pictures for measurements.