Large China Scallop Porcelain Dresser/ Vanity Box Marked Sèvres

This example is a fantasy porcelain vanity box with floral and gold decorations on a light blue background, elaborate bronze-look fittings and an ornate clasp. Inside on lid and base are gold colored interior decorations that simulate miniature florals. This fake piece is marked on the bottom with a looped capital 'L' device enclosing a dot, to suggest it was made by the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres (National manufacturer of Sèvres). The mark shown is spurious. This item has never been near the Sèvres factory. It isn't very old, either, though frequently items such as this are offered to buyers as at least 'vintage' in age, and often represented to be 'antique.

Marks used by the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres are all well documented and correspond to specific periods of time. Looped capital 'L' marks, the royal cipher of the king, are 18th century marks. A mark like the one shown would not ever have been applied to a hard paste porcelain article. As can be seen, hard paste is exactly what the box in this listing is made of - not soft paste.

Try to ignore the mark, completely, and take a close look at the item. All artwork and gilding on true Sèvres porcelain, whether made of soft or hard paste, is extremely fine. As was true in the making of the pure white porcelain grounds onto which they were applied, all decorative processes were sophisticated and strictly controlled. The very best artists were employed by Sevres and they didn’t do hasty or slap-dash work. Pieces that could not be judged to be ultra-fine and suitable for presentation to royalty would have been discarded - not sold.

Sevres gilding is best described as sumptuous. It was built up in layers and has a distinct three-dimensional look. This means it should not be flat, but raised from the surface and easily felt with the fingers. The ground color and the floral sprays on this piece are decorative and they are pretty. But they are also flat, unimaginative and nowhere close to being 'Sèvres' in quality. Most, if not all, of the specious items of this type are decorated with transfer designs, they are not hand painted. And decorations are generally applied by a machine, not the hand of an artist. Ask yourself, honestly, does this item truly look like it is fit for presentation to royalty? To a king? And the answer is, of course, no, it does not.

The most helpful thing to always remember when presented with any piece of porcelain that bears a Sevres-like mark is this - they have been among the most commonly faked marks placed on porcelain. Porcelain factories have been busily faking Sevres since the 1770’s. Hard paste examples of items bearing Sevres cipher marks which only should exist on soft paste forms - has never stopped since that time.

Measures 8 inches wide by 4 inches high.

Item ID: 2007RP000209

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


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