Childs Holding A Cornet Vase, Manufacture de Sèvres & Denis Larue, 1863
Childs holding a cornet vase transcends ceramics techniques and becomes a true work of sculpture. The vase utilitarian function disappears under the multitude of details and the movement of the figures. The children are as if engaged in some graceful dance, holding down a flowing drapery remindful of the style of baroque sculpture. The way the vase is designed obliges the viewer to circle it to discover all the interesting features present on all sides. It is a genuine three-dimensional work of art , and engaging because of its realistic approach. Each element composing the pediment naturalist decor is very detailed to create the stone-like ground. The figures give a surprising impression of veracity which can be explained by the way Larue worked. He always used live models in order to create as best as possible a spirited rendition of life in action.
or two decades, the national Manufacture de Sèvres, influenced by the important European earthenware factories such as Sarreguemines or Minton, had wanted to diversify its production and be part of a European « revival » of artistic earthenware which had fell out of fashion more than a century ago.
There are only three other known copies of this superb vase designed and produced by the pottery workshop of Manufacture de Sèvres which was in operation between 1852 and 1872. Two are kept at Cité de la Céramique in Sèvres, France (Inv.# 12991/1 and 12991/2) and a third in the French Mobilier National (State Furniture Depository, Inv.# GML 11102).