Pair of vases, Hard-paste porcelain, gilt-bronze mounts, Chinese with French mounts

Pair of vases

Date:
porcelain mid-18th century, mounts ca. 1740–50
Culture:
Chinese with French mounts
Medium:
Hard-paste porcelain, gilt-bronze mounts
Dimensions:
Each: H. 15-1/16 x W. 10-7/8 x D. 6-1/4 in. (38.3 x 27.6 x 15.9 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gilt Bronze
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.471.3, .4
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 527
These blue green celadon vases bear the Chinese character shou ("long life") in low relief. Originally taller, the vases were cut down and mounted in Paris with scrolled and pierced handles, lip, and base. The mounts have been compared to work by Jean-Claude Duplessis père (ca. 1695–1774), a talented goldsmith, gilt-bronze worker, and porcelain designer. Duplessis's name occurs regularly in the livre-journal (account book) of the dealer Lazare Duvaux from 1748 to 1758. In September 1750, for instance, Duvaux sold the marquis de Voyer d'Argenson a pair of large celadon-porcelain vases mounted by Duplessis in gilt bronze for three thousand livres. This exceptionally high price indicates that the vases must have been of great importance, just like the Museum's pair.
Edith Chester Beatty , London ; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman , New York (until 1984; to MMA)