French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899

100112-1/RL-390

This is a Paris or Limoges porcelain vase, quite large, and decorated by Wm Guerin of Limoges in a rare "bleu au grand feu" or "blue firing" process, a decorating technique first developed by Sevres in the 1830s, and enhanced on this vase by Wm. Guerin; basically it means the vase was painted by the artist, then the special firing was done, so the painting is under the glaze in shades of blue and white, not with a cobalt glaze, but with a blue color, and almost teal under some lights; Sevres probably adapted their technique from the English and Japanese decorators. Guerin used a special firing process that they referred to as "feu de four", not the same as Haviland's feu de four, but somewhat equivalent, and most likely a compilation of techniques already developed in France, England and Japan. I am not saying this vase is Guerin's "feu de four", but it is a similar type of experimental firing process, and undoubtedly not continued on dinnerware pieces due to the high cost of production. In touching the vase, it seems the decorating technique was to apply a blue ground over the white glaze to give the depth of color to the blue shades. The age of the vase is the last quarter of the 19th century, circa 1875 and no later than 1899, but more likely dating to the 1870s.

The vase is 15 3/8" high, 10" wide at the body and 6 ½" wide at the mouth. The weight of the vase is almost 12 lbs, which indicates to me an earlier date in the date range and that most likely the porcelain vase comes from a Paris porcelain maker.

The vase is hand painted by a professional artist; it is not a transfer other than how the artist controlled the levels of shading via the glazing and grounds. The painting evokes an emotional response. To me, it looks like the baby birds are on their nest, with fearful expressions as a storm whirls above their head, an analogy of being afraid to take flight into the world because there is chaos. However beyond the nest are morning glory flowers, vivid and bright with beauty, appearing to glimmer with sunlight through the trees and with such dimension that I feel I could pluck the flowers right off the vase. This means that if the baby birds can overcome their fear, and take flight, that there is also order in nature that brings about calmness and serenity.

Another person interpreted the painting as the nest is above the baby birds, they have fallen out, and they need to get back to the safety of their nest, which is nestled in the bowery of morning glory flowers.

One other aspect of the beauty of this vase is that the flowers, leaves, limbs and foliage are shaded blue with the special type of glazing process, yet the baby birds are painted in real life colors of brown, another contrast of meaning intended by the artist to evoke the emotional response. And of course it shows that the vase went through multiple firings at different heats to get the different colors with the painting of the baby birds as a final overlay.

There are some lines of gold trim around the foliage for outlining purposes; the gold lines are used by the decorator to disguise any bleed between glazes or glaze and ground, if there is any. There is some white enamel around the baby birds where the artist needed to show more white color, and white enamel added for touches to the flowers and foliage.

The vase is of high rarity, so there is a high price.

The rim has an old repair, which can be seen as the color of the gold trim is different. The repair does not diminish the value of the vase as the rarity is high. There is wear to the gold trim around the mouth and the base, and most likely wear to the gold outline trim on the body of the vase.

The inside of the vase is glazed white and there are a few glaze marks and bubbles in the interior.

There are no chips, cracks or crazing. There are a few light scratches on the body of the vase.

There is no maker's mark, again indicating the vase most likely has an origin in Paris. The last bit of a red overglaze decorating mark is on the bottom, and if fully intact the mark would read as "W. Guerin & Cie Paris & Limoges" inside an oval circle. This mark was used only by Guerin on special decorative wares, one-of-a-kind items that were not mass produced and not intended for export.

Item ID: RL-390

French Limoges Huge Vase Blue & White Morning Glories Baby Birds c 1875 - 1899

$5,000 USD

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