Wall sconce (bras de cheminée) (one of a pair), Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present), Soft-paste porcelain, gilt bronze, French, Sèvres

Wall sconce (bras de cheminée) (one of a pair)

Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present)
After a design by Jean-Claude Duplessis (French, ca. 1695–1774, active 1748–74)
ca. 1761
French, Sèvres
Soft-paste porcelain, gilt bronze
17 × 10 1/2 in. (43.2 × 26.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1958
Accession Number:
Not on view
In the 1760s, the Sèvres factory was not only introducing new shapes, but also experimenting with the use of porcelain in different and unprecedented ways. One of the more inventive applications is evident in the design of these wall lights, a type of object typically made in either gilt bronze or wood rather than porcelain.

Due to the complexity of the molding process needed to create each wall light, very few exampels were produced by the factory. Of the approximately twenty pairs of wall lights sold by the factory in the 1760s, the king acquired at least five pairs and Madame de Pompadour purchased two. One pair, now in the Louvre, was decorated in pink, green, dark blue, and gold; the other pair was green and gold. It is possible that the pair now at the Museum can be identified with the second pair acquired by the royal mistress, which she kept in her château of Menars.

[Jeffrey H. Munger, 2006]
probably Mme de Pompadour ; The Lords Hillingdon , London ; The Samuel H. Kress Foundation (until 1958; to MMA)