An Exceptionally Rare and Historically Important Pair of Sèvres Porcelain Presentation Vases, designed by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse.
Marked to the base of each vase ‘Doré A Sèvres, S74’, and incised ‘AD-74, 3’, and ‘P.V-R 73-11-A.
The incised initials almost certainly refer to François-Alexandre David, gilder and painter at the Sèvres manufactory between 1844 and 1882.
Each vase is of an unusual pale lavender colour, the distinctive ‘bottle’ shape with elongated faceted necks derived from early Persian metalware. They are described in the Sèvres records from 1874 as ‘Vase Bouteille Persanne’.
The main body is centred by a scrolling strapwork cartouche containing the inscription: EXPOSITION DES BEAUX-ARTS, ROUSSEAU (PH), MEMBRE DU JURY, SECTION DE PEINTURE, 1874.
The Salon, the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris, was generally thought of as the most important annual exhibition in the world. As well as being a showcase for established artists, the exhibition gave up-and-coming artists the chance to present their work to discerning viewers. In April 1874, a group of artists, the ones rejected by the Salon jury, opened an exhibition independent of the Salon as the Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs. This was to be the first true exhibition of Impressionist art; the contributing artists included Cézanne, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Manet, and his sister-in-law Berthe Morisot.