This wonderful vase was crafted in France in the 19th Century. It is designed in a fanciful East Asian style known as Chinoiserie, from the French word ‘chinois’ (Chinese). This ornamental style was fashionable in Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
The vase features a bulbous lapis lazuli body with a waisted base and neck. It is topped by a domed lapis lazuli lid which is decorated with a gilt bronze (ormolu) wreath-like band and a pinecone finial. The vase’s body is mounted with two gilt bronze handles. These take the form of geometric scrolls with floral flourishes, which terminate in elephant heads, carrying rings with their trunks. The vase stands on an openwork gilt bronze base which is set on four scrolled feet. The deep blue colour of the lapis lazuli contrasts with the lustrous golden gilt bronze mounts, resulting in a beautiful and striking piece of decorative art.