Every so often, we discover a piece of supreme beauty and rarity. This piece certainly qualifies, belonging to the very earliest years of the French Royal factory of Sevres.
What makes this doubly special is that it has come back to us again after many years. It came out of an Australian collection late last century, and was purchased from us by a local collector of refined taste; now it is being offered as he disposes of his collection due to ill-health. Over the years he has sold most of his other special pieces, but this was his favorite which he kept until the end…..
When it was sold the first time, we were not aware of a fascinating provenance. As often happens, while researching another object I stumbled across an illustration of a very similar jug – no, the exact same one – in the 1977 catalogue for the Mentmore dispersal sale. (Note: our jug is illustrated as ‘lot 2001’, but catalogued as ‘lot 2002’ – someone made a mistake!)
This memorable ‘Sale of the Century’, is documented in a 1977 news report seen here on YouTube. ‘Mentmore’ is one of England’s most amazing grand houses, and was built in the mid 19th century by Baron Rothschild in the Renaissance manner with no expense spared. This jug was therefore once part of the Rothschild collection.
Watching this grainy 1977 sale newsreport, I once again stumbled across the Vincennes jug; sitting in the great hall cabinets amongst a mouth-watering array of Sevres & Vincennes, you can make out the jug with its distinct gold silhouette birds.
A high-res black & white photo of the central Mentmore room also shows the jug, sitting at the far left of the left shelf second from the top.
With the dispersal of the collection in an epic 10-day sale in 1977, the jug somehow made its way to Australia. It appeared on the Australian market about 20 years later, when we purchased it for stock and it sold promptly to a delighted local collector.
please note: this piece has sold.