Pair of vases (vases cuir), Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present), Soft-paste porcelain, gilt bronze, French, Sèvres

Pair of vases (vases cuir)

Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present)
Figural decoration based on sculptures by Étienne-Maurice Falconet (French, Paris 1716–1791 Paris)
ca. 1765–70
French, Sèvres
Soft-paste porcelain, gilt bronze
vases only: 16 3/8 × 8 3/4 in. (41.6 × 22.2 cm);
vases on gilt-bronze base (removed): 18 7/8 in. (47.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
49.7.78a–c, .79a–c
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 529
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 d. 1944; to MMA)