Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Marc Bazille (1706–1777, master 1732)
French, Montpellier
H. 2-1/2 in. (6.3 cm.); L. 13-1/2 in. (34.3 cm.); D. 9-1/2 in. (24.1 cm.)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Ella Morris de Peyster, 1958
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 545
A ewer with its accompanying basin was among the most important components of the washing and grooming ritual known in France as la toilette. The ewer would have held water; the basin served as a small, portable sink. The intended function of this ewer and basin is made clear by the aquatic motifs chosen to decorate them. Beneath the spout of the ewer is a dolphin mask framed by bullrushes, and the finial of the hinged cover is formed by a dolphin whose tail serves as a thumbpiece. Bullrushes also decorate the inner sides of the basin.
This ewer and basin are among the Museum's finest pieces of French Rococo silver. The sinuous lines of the ewer and its handle are a hallmark of the Rococo style, and the dolphin, appearing both in mask and finial form, was a frequently used motif.t
Marking: [1] Crowned lily, 2 grains de remède, M B (maker's mark)
[2] Fleur-de-lis, 2 stars above (charge mark for jurisdiction of Montpellier, 1744-50)
[3] Crowned S, 2 pellets, M P L below (Montpellier warden's mark, 1745-46)
[4] Crowned heraldic ermine (?) flanked by 2 pellets (discharge mark for jurisdiction of Montpellier, 1744-50)
[5] Unidentified
[6] Boar's head (Paris restricted warranty mark for silver, 1838-79)

Location of marks:
[1]-[3] on bottom
[4] on outside of foot rim
[5], [6] on rim of hip and cover, on outside of foot rim
Ella Morris de Peyster (until 1958; bequeathed to MMA)
Related Objects


Artist: Marc Bazille (1706–1777, master 1732) Date: 1745–46 Medium: Silver Accession: 58.60.1 On view in:Gallery 545

Pair of candlesticks

Date: 1695–96 Medium: Silver Accession: 48.187.45, .46 On view in:Gallery 522

Ewer and basin

Artist: Pierre Miston (master 1730) Date: 1737–38 Medium: Silver Accession: 48.187.23, .24 On view in:Not on view

Ewer and basin (lavabo set)

Date: ca. 1680–85 Medium: Silver, partially gilded Accession: 2005.62.1, .2a, b On view in:Gallery 551


Artist: Paul-David Bazille (1740–1793, master 1766) Date: 1773–74 Medium: Silver Accession: 48.187.329 On view in:Not on view