A Fine Louis XV Style Gilt-Bronze and Sèvres Style Porcelain Inkwell.
French, Circa 1890.
This elegant and sophisticated inkwell is of sarcophagus form with finely painted porcelain panels depicting la fête champêtre and foliate sprays, the stand is finely cast and gilded, the lid surmounted by finely modelled putti.
The Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory was founded to the east of Paris in the disused Royal Château of Vincennes, late in 1739-40. and moved to the village of Sèvres, west of Paris in 1756, en route to King Louis XV’s palace of Versailles.
Here it was also adjacent to Louis’s mistress Madame de Pompadour’s own château at Bellevue. She was delighted with the factory’s new location – as she knew she could entice Louis to take a greater interest in it when it was so near their own residences. Indeed, the King became such a keen patron of the factory that, when it ran into financial difficulties, he bought out the shareholders and became the sole proprietor. The factory remained a royal enterprise until the French Revolution, when it was nationalised.
The popularity of the Louis XV style during the nineteenth century led to a number of companies in and around Paris, creating exceptional Sèvres-Style porcelain based on eighteenth century models, and to the same exceptional quality. Often these pieces were of exhibition quality and scale, and finely painted by the best studio painters of the day such as Robert, Desprez and Poitevin.