Pair of vases with oriental figures

Attr. to Jacob Petit
Paris, mid 19th century

Description:

Pair of narrow-necked flask-shaped vases on an octagonal base; two winged dragons form the handles of the vessels; on the front, enclosed within a crown of flowers, are the two reserves painted with gallant oriental-style scenes, depicting Arabs in palm gardens. The body of the vase sees the alternation of blue and red bands, with golden embroidery. The plastic dimension is entrusted to flowers and dragons, the first paintings while the latter are gilded.

Dimensions: 42,5 x 25 x 21,5 cm ( 16,7 x 9,8 x 8,4 in )

Historical-stylistic analysis:

The two vases, although not marked, are part of Jacob Petit’s best creation. Characteristic features of his work are the invention of the form in which a complex of several styles falls according to the precocious eclecticism that characterizes the works of the ceramist and that throughout history distinguishes him from other productions. Characteristic are also the use of bright colors and the typical Arabic motifs that mark the company’s most successful production.

Jacob Petit (Paris, 1796-1868):

At the registry office of Jacob Mordecai, the surname by which he is famously known was borrowed from his wife, a certain Adélaïde Petit, daughter of a Chantilly baker. Jacob Petit initially learned drawing on his own, and only later entered the studio of Antoine-Jean Gros, a painter in turn trained at Jaques-Louis David. Subsequently, in 1822, he was admitted to the manufacture of Sèvres, fascinated by the production of porcelain.

His interest was such that in the following years he made several trips all over Europe, to get in touch with different tastes and to learn the various production techniques known until then. What he acquired can be found in the volume published once he returned home, between 1830 and 1831, a real collection on interior decoration, which he often used as a reference model throughout his career. Petit’s entrepreneurial spirit was also reflected in the factory he opened in Fonatinbleau, in which there were 80 workers, home, together with the Parisian laboratory, of his rich production of porcelain. Its producers are also recognizable by being almost always marked with the initials, “JP”, written in blue.

Right from the start this was also distinguished by the attention that Petit paid to technical experimentation, even allowing him to imitate woven wicker baskets with porcelain. This dedication allowed him to participate, starting from the 1830s, in numerous exhibitions, from whose reports it emerges that our role in the production and trade of ornamental porcelain was now well established.

His production was in fact characterized by a great heterogeneity of decorative objects, which immediately stood out for their eclecticism and the ability to combine and blend different stylistic suggestions, certainly known firsthand during his numerous travels. His works are in fact known precisely for this daring mix of tastes, translated into absolute originality, high quality finishes and above all a lively and captivating polychromy, still sought after and appreciated by collectors today.

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