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Style Japonism, Chinoiserie / Ref.12951

Ernest-Baptiste LÉVEILLÉ (attributed to), Eugène ROUSSEAU (after), Koi Carp Vase, circa 1885-1890


Height: 9''   23cm
Diameter: 4''   10cm

France, 19th century

This koi carp vase was created by Ernest-Baptiste Léveillé based on a design initially conceived by Eugène Rousseau.

François-Eugène Rousseau (1827-1890) established himself in 1855 as a merchant specializing in porcelain and faience, while also engaging in glasswork. Toward the end of his life, inspired by Venetian techniques from the 16th century, which the Chinese practiced in the 18th century, he achieved unexpected designs by layering nuanced colored layers. His works reflect his interest in Japonism.

In 1885, he sold his business to his former pupil, Ernest-Baptiste Léveillé. The production of the “Maisons Rousseau-Léveillé réunies” remained characteristic of the techniques developed by Rousseau until the master’s death in 1890. Subsequently, the models became more daring and intricate. Léveillé participated in numerous Parisian Salons between 1892 and 1897, as well as the Universal Exhibitions of 1889 and 1900, during which he received a gold medal.

The design of our koi carp vase, in polychrome enamel on slightly smoked glass, is treated in the vein of Japanese prints.

The koi carp is a mythical animal in East Asian culture. According to an ancient legend, the bravest ones, which manage to swim up the mighty Yellow River, would transform into dragons with golden scales.

An almost identical vase, although its design is entirely in relief and not enameled, is housed in the collections of the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill.

Price: on request

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