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Large vessel with a jade and silver-gilt cover
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Large vessel with a jade and silver-gilt cover

XVII century. Silver gilt, Nephrite Room 079B

Vessel with a tall foot formed by a silver gilt mount and a body consisting of a shallow oval bowl of greyish jade (nephrite), with a diminished arch profile. Running around the lip is a broad mount with a border of inclined egg motifs which raises the smaller cover, a second piece of jade crowned with a three-leafed silver gilt bud. It rests on a silver tripod structure with four S-shaped scrolls supported by an elevated base with mouldings of gadroons, ovals, gathered ribbons and foliage. Between the legs is a vegetable adornment with three salient leaves. The body is of nephrite, a type of jade that was used for several of the Chinese vessels owned by Louis XIV and his son. Visible on the edge of the cover is the discharge mark of Antoine Etienne Ridereau, assay master (fermier) from 1684 to 1687.

Comparisons with other pieces allow us to consider this vessel as the work of a Parisian workshop, since there are others with a similar design at the Musée du Louvre. The closest are MR 201 and MR 202. MR 240, a cup of about 1685, also has S-shaped legs. The leaf moulding on the foot is close to that found on vessel O66 in the Dauphin’s Treasure, marked by the fermier Ridereau and the silversmith Michel Debourg, who also intervened on another jade vessel at the Louvre, OA 6618. The handles on a pair of vessels in the Dauphin’s Treasure, O38 and O39, are similar in their technical execution to the mount on this piece, using methods like pointillé between mouldings. The vessels were made by a different artisan, the Parisian silversmith with the initials IR, possibly Jean Royel, which points to a considerable stylistic uniformity between the two men working for the Court. In summary, the vessel reviewed here is very closely related to all those cited above.

The cover of O-38 at the Prado has a similar bud as a finial. The frequent appearance of this motif on the vessels in the royal collections is appreciable in drawings by Nicolas Delaunay (1646-1727) showing piece of silverware that belonged to Louis XIV, such as a tureen for the royal table with dolphin handles and a pot-à-bouillon, both with bud finials. These drawings, which were sent to Sweden in 1699, also coincide in the presence of dolphins with piece O66, and with O64 in the similar base of the finial.

The Museo del Prado has the photograph by Juan Laurent y Minier, Untitled, c. 1879. Museo del Prado, HF0835/55 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Related artworks

Case for large vessel with a jade and silver-gilt cover
Leather, Wood, Metal, Cloth, 1675 - 1711
Gran vaso con tapa, de jade y plata dorada
Albumen on photographic paper, Ca. 1863
Inventory number
Large vessel with a jade and silver-gilt cover
XVII century; 1684 - 1687
Chased; Carved
Silver gilt; Nephrite
Height: 33 cm.; Width: 23 cm.; Base/bottom: 17.5 cm.; Weight: 2415 g.; Ancho base: 12.5 cm.; Bottom of the base: 16.5 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 109.

Arbeteta Mira, Letizia, El tesoro del Delfín: alhajas de Felipe V recibidas por herencia de su padre Luis, Gran Delfín de Francia, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 257,258.

Arbeteta, L. Azcue, L., El Tesoro del Delfín, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2018, 2018.

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 3.
Vaso grande aovado con su tapa

Exhibitions +

Orientando la mirada. Arte asiático en las colecciones públicas madrileñas
25.02.2009 - 24.05.2009

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 27-12-2019 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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