Style romanticism / Ref.12946
Pair of Sèvres porcelain vases mounted in gilt bronze and painted by J. Machereau, circa 1870
Height: 23'' ⅝ 60cm
This beautiful pair of covered vases made of porcelain originally comes from the Manufacture of Sèvres where the white pieces were bought in 1869, decorated then mounted in gilt bronze by J. Machereau.
He is designated as “ porcelain painter and decorator” in the Didot Bottin and has worked between 1860 and 1877, in a first time associated with Caille in the 216 Faubourg Saint-Denis, the alone from 1867, in the 22 Faubourg du Temple. The purchase archives in the Manufacture of Sèvres show that he used to buy pieces in white which he decorated next. His work and his life are unfortunately not that much studies, nevertheless, we know that he participated to the International Exhibition of 1867 in Paris in the Ceramic and porcelain area, where he received a bronze medal for a tender porcelain. Then, he also participated to the one in 1878 where our pair of vases were exhibited as testifies the label inside the lid : « Machereau Paris. Exposition universelle 1878. 22 Faubourg du Temple ». During this exhibition he won a silver medal and was noticed by the Royal Society of Arts of London for « the exquisite decoration » of his vases, « nicely mounted with gilt bronzes”. The French newspaper L’Univers Illustré also spoke of his work in its publication from June, 22th 1878, for the presentation of «a very interesting shelf » made by the artiste « who knows how to mix with art the soft porcelain and the gilt bronzes ».
We find on these oval vases the colbat blue, typical of the Sèvres manufactory, in particularly on the extremities, on the flaring foot, the neck and the lid. Theses parts painted in blue are adorned with with a golden decoration of scrolls with leaves. The vases are put on a gilt bronze quadrangular foot. They are adorned in each angles with a square motif imitating the acanthus leaves that we also find on the feet. A laurel crown joins the vase and its foot. As four the lid, we find on its extremity, a frieze of palms and on the top a very remarkably chiseled gilt bronze pine cone. The belly also can turn allowing us to admire easily the two faces welcoming pastoral scenes.
Indeed, on the totality of the vases belly and on the two faces, pastoral scenes are painted, typical of the mid 18th century kind, framed up and down by a white pearled border. These four scenes, in the taste of Jean-Baptiste Huet (1845-1811) or Joseph Vernet (1714-1789) take place in a rural landscape with woods, sometimes inhabited by a house in the background. The vivid colors in the first plan fade on the background to pastel tons and a blurry decor. The scenes seem to unveil themselves to the indiscretion of the spectator, framed by big trees emphasized by the precision of their details and the more vivid colors. On each scene, we see a shepherdess holding in one of her hand a stick and chaperoning her flock composed of cows, goats and sheep drinking in the middle of a river. On two scenes she is also accompanied by a man on a horse, standing on the background. The two paintings on the two faces are not separated but linked with a decoration depicting a luxurious forest with vivid colors.
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