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Past Exhibition

Three Pots-pourris

set of three potpourris vases with one larger version, each decorated with figures in a landscape, surrounded by purple and gold

Three Pots-pourris Feuilles de Mirte or à Feuillages
Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
French, ca. 1762
Soft-paste porcelain
Larger vase: 14 3/16 x 8 1/2 x 7 1/8 in. (36 x 21.6 x 18.1 cm)
Smaller vases: 11 x 6 3/4 x 5 1/4 in. (27.9 x 17.1 x 13.3 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest, 1918

Jean-Claude Duplessis adapted the shape of these vases from silverworks made some ten years earlier. Produced at the factory from 1761 to 1768, they were called either pots-pourris feuilles de mirte or à feuillages, a reference to the entwined myrtle leaves on the sides and neck of the vases, as well as to their eventual content (myrtle leaves were the essential ingredient in potpourri mixtures of dried flowers, herbs, and spices). All three vases are decorated on the front with a Flemish peasant scene in rich polychrome and on the back with a landscape bathed in soft light. These decorative scenes derive in part from engravings made after paintings by David Teniers the Younger and François Boucher. The seated peasants on the front of the larger vase are borrowed from 4ème Fête Flamande, an engraving by Jacques-Philippe Lebas after a painting by Teniers. The painter of these scenes is unknown.