Rare “Gu” * shaped porcelain vase with green “pale celadon” type glaze.
The cornet-shaped vase with a swelling in the middle is finely incised under the translucent covering of winding patterns and stylized feathers.
The neck of the vase and its foot are set in a finely chiseled bronze rococo mount gilded with mercury, decorated with foliage and flowers.
The collar frame is adorned with two attached C-shaped hanging rings.
China early Quianlong period (1736-1795) for the porcelain vase.
Paris Louis XV period around 1750-1760 for the bronze mount which is attributable to the silversmith Jean Claude Duplessis (1699-1774) under the orders of the merchant mercer Lazare Duvaux (1703-1758).
Good condition, small hair on the edge of the vase and two small enamel jumps.
Original mercury gilding.
Height: 20.5 cm; Diameter: 12cm
* The "GU" type vases are inspired by archaic Chinese bronzes from the time of the Shang dynasty (-1570 to -1045 BC).
Associated in the tombs of this time with "jue" jugs and "jia" vases, the "gu" were probably used to make libations of fermented drinks.
Squat in shape during Erligang's time (c. 1550-c. 1300 BC), their silhouette was refined during the Anyang period (c. 1300-c. 1050 BC.). )
They take on very elaborate decorations made up of exploded taotie masks, square spirals and often long triangular elements which adorn the neck and which are interpreted by most authors as representing the wings of cicadas.
The Cernuschi Museum in Paris keeps an archaic "Gu" bronze vase from this period (M.C. 7808) with this decoration of spirals and cicadas wings that we find on our porcelain vase.
During the Western Zhou era (c. 1050-770 BC), the use of the "gu" vase fell into disuse, even before the significant religious change of the mid-ninth century.
However, antiquity will remain one of the greatest sources of inspiration for Chinese artisans and this form will reappear in the Song era (960-1279) but this time with porcelain vases, the most famous of which in Celadon colors are from the prestigious Longquan ovens.
The success of this ritual tableware with archaic shapes will not be denied over the centuries with productions under the Yuan, Ming and Quinq dynasties.
Our opinion :
The secret of hard porcelain was still not known in Europe in the middle of the 18th century and the productions imported from the East were much sought after by the elite of the nobility.
Among the most sought-after pieces are the “celadons” whose shades of the glaze imitate the translucent green hue of the mythical Jade stone.
Made in China, to order and for the court, they are extremely rare, even in their country of origin.
A Parisian merchant haberdasher, Lazare Duvaux, will make it his specialty and will import these rare porcelains thanks to his important network in the East, during his existence he will hold a virtual monopoly.
His precious diary book allows us to know that he delivered about thirty between 1748 and 1758, at the minimum price of 700 pounds, while porcelain vases from Saxony struggled to reach the sum of 50 pounds.
In April 1750, to the Marquis de VOYER: Two pieces of old celadon porcelain, representing a plant with foliage, with the terraces gilded with ground gold, 720 pounds
In May of the same year at the Comte du Luc: Two pieces of celadon porcelain with reliefs, with their gilded terraces, 720 books
In January 1751 still at the Marquis du Voyer: A celadon porcelain vase, 960 pounds
The following years he delivered Celadons to the Prince de Turenne, to the Duchess of Orleans, to the treasurer Mr de Boulogne, to the Dauphine, but Duvaux's greatest client was undoubtedly the Marquise de Pompadour, who was crazy about these porcelain with delicate nuances and to whom he delivered about fifteen pieces in ten years.
The document also tells us that the production of the bronze mounts was entrusted to the goldsmith Jean Claude Duplessis.
Also in August 1750 he delivered for the exorbitant sum of 3000 pounds two vases to the Marquis du Voyer: Two large celadon porcelain vases, mounted by Duplessis in gilded bronze with ground gold, 3.000 1
The price reached is partly due to the size of the vases but also to the cost of the frame which required the conception of a drawing and then a long tailor-made adaptation work.
Duvaux mentions for the date of April 6, 1753 having delivered to the Marquise de Pompadour: "Contoured circles made for six different pieces of celadon porcelain in copper gilded with ground gold & two small leaf caps".He mentions several times these "caps" which are the contours made for the upper part of the vase, which are rare and much more expensive than the simple terraces that we usually meet.
The frame of our vase is "terrace and bonnet", it is emblematic of the purest rococo style designed by Duplessis in the 1750s, in addition to the very naturalistic design, the delicacy of the carving demonstrates the dexterity of our silversmith.
But it is through the addition of the two side rings that the Grandmaster makes his creative genius speak the most; this presence is not the result of chance, it is a nod to the jade "Gu" vases, the rings of which, indented in the mass of this fragile stone, were a real technical feat.
This knowledge and documentation work, even for distant and ancient civilizations, perfectly characterizes the scholarship of the Enlightenment.
Designed in China after archaic forms and mounted on bronze in Paris in the purest French Rococo style, our vase is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
It is one of the few mounted celadons that have come down to us and represents in our eyes the quintessence of the work of art during the reign of Louis XV.
Price : on request
Price : on request
Price : on request