The curious form of these vases was inspired by pilgrim flasks made of leather-encase gourds intended for carrying water. The modeling realistically creates the impression of cut leather panels laced together, enclosing an inner container. The painted decoration makes no reference, however, to the function of the pilgrim flasks; the figures of Cupid and Psyche are based on popular sculptures by Etienne-Maurice Falconet (1716–1791).
[Jeffrey H. Munger, 2007]
Château de Versailles (in 1791 inventory) ; Baron Alfred de Rothschild , London (in 1884) ; Almina, Countess of Carnarvon (until 1925; sale, Christie Manson and Woods, London, May 19, 1925, no. 255; to Huggins); Jules S. Bache , New York (until 1949; to MMA)