These jugs (ewers) are magnificent works of decorative art which measure an impressive 1m (39 inches) in height. In their decoration, the jugs are clearly inspired by 18th-Century Rococo style wares created by the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory.
The porcelain jugs feature ovoid bodies on splayed feet. The jugs’ bodies are mounted with gilt bronze (ormolu) stiff-leaf bands, and they are topped by gilt bronze necks and spouts. The necks are decorated with fruiting grape vines and the spouts feature stiff-leaf motifs, stylised foliage and bead-and-reel bands. Each jug is fitted with a single gilt bronze looping handle which is decorated with flowers, foliage and fluting. The handles are crowned by sculptures of nude putti, holding clusters of grapes and pinecone-tipped staffs, indicating that they are followers of Bacchus (or Dionysus), the classical god of wine and ecstasy. The handles terminate in sculptural ram heads.
The porcelain jugs are ‘bleu celeste’ (sky blue) in colour and their bodies are finely decorated with paintings of young courting couples in Arcadian landscapes. These are set within parcel gilt frames, composed of stylised floral and foliate motifs. The jugs’ feet are encircled by white bands which are painted with colourful flowers and their edges gilded. Each jug stands on a square gilt bronze base with rounded corners. The tops of the bases are gadrooned and their sides are reeded.