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


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.