These vases display the kind of fine detailing and gilding that the Sevres Porcelain Manufactory was renowned for in the 18th and 19th Centuries. These large vases – each measuring 93cm (37 inches) in height – were produced at Sevres during the period of the French Second Empire under Napoleon III, when the factory was renamed as the ‘Manufacture Imperiale de Sevres’.
Each vase is ovoid in shape and painted around its exterior with a continuous landscape. The attention to detail and level of naturalism achieved by the porcelain artist here is astonishing: every element, including the ancient ruins, antique sculptures, trees and figures are rendered in rich colours and with careful details. Above and below, the neck and socle of the vase are decorated with foliate gilding on a maroon ground.
Each vase is set on a shaped square ormolu base, and is mounted at either side with ormolu handles in the form of acanthus leaves. The vases also both bear marks for the Sevres factory, including the Napoleon III crown mark (reading ‘N 67’ and ‘Decore a Sevres’) and a mark reading ‘S. 63’.