Large Baroque garden vase of a deep, cobalt-blue (bleu persan), tin-glazed earthenware, of traditional vase shape with two heavy handles, each comprised of a molded, winged grotesque figure whose lower body terminates in outward flowing stylized foliage, the entire outer body of the vase highlighted with bluish-white overglaze enamel with a band of scrolling foliage under the lip and around the base and a band of lappets around the foot, each side of the body contains a central reserve painted with similar chinoiserie landscape scenes with two seated figures, exotic trees and foliage, and a group of temple-like structures, the reserves outlined by scrolling, stylized foliage; with three holes for drainage.

Garden Vase (Jardinière)

Nevers, France

1660-1680

The name Nevers refers to a group of faïence factories in the Bourgogne region of France. The first was founded around 1588 by three brothers from Italy, who brought with them the Italian majolica tradition. By the mid-seventeenth century, the potteries were producing objects in a distinctly French style, but also designs influenced by those found on imported Chinese porcelain. The quality of Nevers pottery is exceptionally high and reflects the best of the seventeenth-century French pottery tradition.


This large vase was used to hold a bush or small tree, probably of some exoticness or rarity, which would have been housed over winter in an orangerie, or greenhouse. It is decorated with lively chinoiseries—imitations of Chinese art that were seldom accurate and always rendered with deference to the European stylistic ideals of the time. The molded handles are unusual in the oeuvre of the Nevers potteries.