Possibly designed by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (French, Anizy-le-Château 1824–1887 Sèvres)
Josiah Wedgwood and Sons (1759–present)
British, Etruria, Staffordshire
Lead- and tin-glazed earthenware
Overall (wt. confirmed): 54 × 20 in., 95 lb. (137.2 × 50.8 cm, 43.1 kg)
Gift of Gyora and Judith S. Novak, in honor of David T. Siegel, 1995
Not on view
Wedgwood's swan vases were the most imposing products that the factory made in the last century. They were available with a putto on the cover in place of the swan, and one of these variants, painted with a Classical scene by Emile Lessore (1805-1876), was among Wedgwood's exhibits at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878. The models in the Museum, made eight years apart, present a rather more unified and harmonious ensemble: in each instance an egg-shaped vase, rising from a clump of reeds and seemingly supported by three swans, is closed by a mound supporting a swan preening an outstretched wing. A light marbling of wandering lines of paired dots in black underlies the translucent, mottled lead glazes on the vase bodies, a curious variant on the mottled glazes Wedgwood employed in the eighteenth century. Semitranslucent turquoise blue and yellow "majolica" glazes are used on the bases, handles, and covers. The Wedgwood archives do not record the designer, but the French sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse( 1824-1887) has been suggested.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: [on underside of .1b in ink, or faded gold, barely legible]: Jos[iah?] W[edgwod] Swan Vase
Notes on Inscripiton: Using a strong raking light Richard Stone in Conservation reported (December 1995) it was possible to read further words on .1b from a faint dulling of the surface, viz: "15 guineas...M...71...Harris" and he thought that the original inscription was made in some kind of chemical gold.
Marking:  [impressed on inner surface of base, under the yellow glaze]: DDE (or DDB); W; WEDGWOOD; O  [painted on underside of cover, under the glaze]: M (or could be a W or a 3) in purple; and again under the glaze of the inner surface of the base, in manganese
Gyora and Judith S. Novak , New York (until 1995; to MMA)
Artist:Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (French, Anizy-le-Château 1824–1887 Sèvres) Date:probably before 1868Medium:Cast terracotta with a coat of brown paint; original turned ebonized socleAccession:1991.123On view in:Not on view