Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Hard-paste porcelain with silver-gilt mount
H. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm), diam. 8 in. (20.3 cm)
Purchase in Honor of Anne L. Poulet, 2011
On view late May
Despite its name, the vase japon is an interpretation of a Chinese bronze Yu (or Hu) vase from the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.). Its design and decoration derive from a woodblock print published in a forty-volume catalogue of the vast Chinese imperial collections compiled between 1749 and 1751 at the behest of the Qianlong emperor. Around 1767, a copy of this catalogue was sent to Henri Bertin, who at the time was France’s secretary of state and commissaire du roi at the Sèvres factory. The vase japon was made in 1774 along with two other vases of the same size, shape, and decoration. Each bears the mark of the gilder-painter Jean-Armand Fallot (act. 1764−90). However, of the three, only this example is adorned with a silver-gilt handle and chain, which, like its shape and surface pattern, are directly inspired by the Chinese model. The mounts bear the mark of Charles Ouizille, who, in 1784, became the official jeweler of Louis XVI.