Author: Rebekah Pollock

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Ovoid body tapers to thin neck, wide flat lip with turned up rim.
Glass Half Full
This distinctly shaped glass vessel, with its thin tapering neck and wide body, was specially designed for growing flowering plants in their off-season, a process known as ‘forcing bulbs’.  It is often called a hyacinth vase, after the fragrant flower commonly grown indoors. One would fill the vase with enough water that the bulb, when...
Oval tray with raised and everted rim. Decorated with outer border of interlaced triangular geometric motifs in lapis blue against brown background, surrounded by thin gold rims; then a border of tooled gilding with 16 roundels painted in polychrome of exotic birds, alternating with the smaller roundels with butterflies. Around central oval a wide band of trompe-l'oeil coffering. Center painted with arrangement of seashells, coral, and pearls against a faux marble background.
Like Father, Like Son
This oval tray represents the unique collaborative effort between Alexandre Brongniart, the director of Sèvres appointed in 1800, and his father, the designer Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart. The younger Brongniart’s passion for the natural world is reflected by the scientific precision of the biological species represented in finely painted enamel. Small roundels of exotic birds and butterflies...
Bottle-form: globular, with straight slender neck, short foot. Coated from white rim to foot with monochrome oxblood color glaze of pear skin texture.
Elusive Oxblood
The deep red glaze on this porcelain vase is derived from copper, a metal which is notoriously difficult to control under the heat of a kiln. The distinct oxblood color is created when copper is starved of its oxygen during the firing (in a smoky, oxygen reduced kiln) and re-oxidized in the cooling. The resulting...
Three tiers of fountains of glass descend from the top, set off by swags of glass drops, the blown glass stems delicately engraved; gilt lower ring with six candle arms and an upper ring connected by the glass-surrounded stem and by three chains, all of metal, the lower ring supporting a blue glass disc at the base of the stem.
The Neoclassical North
This three tiered chandelier in the form of a cascading fountain is garlanded with swags of cut glass drops. Three delicately blown baluster-shaped pieces of cobalt glass are linked by chains of gilt metal. The reserved neoclassical form and use of blue glass strongly indicate that the chandelier was made during the last quarter of the eighteenth century in...
Red leather holder with stamped gold decorations for five implements, holder fits into silver cup.
Have Spoon, Will Travel
Sumptuously crafted by the Paris silversmith Gavet, this cutlery set was a luxury object intended for stylish travelers in the early nineteenth century. Cleverly designed with nesting parts, the set includes everything an affluent city dweller could need to dine outdoors, including a fork and spoon with detachable ebony handles inlaid with silver, a folding steel...
Flat marli. Concentric bands, in gold: plain, advancing wave motif, and scattered stars; enclosing view of the Sèvres porcelain factory in colors.
Sèvres Self Portrait
This plate shows a picturesque view of the Manufacture de Sèvres, the prestigious French porcelain factory first established under Louis XV. The manufactory was more than just a workplace; many employees lived within the building or in nearby housing. The surrounding pastoral countryside had plots of land where workers could garden. The plate’s figure sitting...
Woman stands next to a large reindeer, holding a young child sitting on the reindeer; both dressed in fur-lined parkas and boots; rectangular base.
Always be Mama
“May there always be sunshine, May there always be sky, May there always be Mama, May there always be me.” The poem "May There Always Be Sunshine," was one of the most beguiling verses of the Soviet era. Written in 1928 by a four-year-old boy, Konstantin Barannikov, the poem illustrates the conflation of mother and...
A shell-work fountain on a mound of rockwork in the foreground, with two monkeys at the left. In the background, a temple portico houses another fountain, with vase and pyramid beside it.
A Masterful Balance
This etching, a screen design by great artist François Boucher, is iconic for its inclusion of the French word rocaille. In the eighteenth century, rocaille referred to the irregular rockwork that was used to embellish picturesque grottos and garden fountains but the word has since come to be synonymous with the rococo as a style....
Two figures standing, facing frontally, side by side. Each is dressed in elaborately patterned garb and has his right hand resting on his hip while the left hand holds a tall bow.
Ballet Brigands
Two dangerous looking brigands stand at attention, ready to spring into action; their brightly colored cloaks flap in the wind. The energetic tension of these figures, their exotic appeal and wildly patterned textiles are all signature traits of work by the great costume and stage set designer Léon Bakst. The Jewish Russian artist began designing...