Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Everything is Coming Up Roses
I adore flowers, not to mention porcelain. And I'm particularly keen on porcelain flowers, especially those so delicately crafted by Pamela Tidwell of Vieuxtemps Porcelain. (I awake to her sublime grape hyacinth every morning.) But the little porcelain flowers that I'm featuring today lack pots. In fact, most of them lack stems, too. They beg to be cradled in one's hand, don't they? And they seem to cry out for company, too, if the Christie's website is any indication. Over the years, most of the 18th and 19th century flowers that they have auctioned off seem to be parts of great collections. It's easy to understand how one ceramic floral bloom might lead to another, and another, and another.
While some of the most prominent examples of these stemless porcelain flowers were made by Sèvres (favorites of both Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour), others were made by Meissen, Chantilly, and other European porcelain makers. Even if porcelain isn't your thing, you have to admit that a profusion of these delicate flowers make for some really striking photos. They make for really striking bouquets, too.
Photo at top: An assortment of 18th and 19th century Continental porcelain flowers, which was auctioned off at Christie's last year. The estimate was EUR 3,000 to 5,000, but the realized price was EUR 20,000.
Collection of fifty-one 18th and 19th century Continental porcelain flowers, sold at a 2012 Christie's auction. Price realized, $8,750.
Photo via Wikimedia, source Patrick.charpiat
A collection of thirty-two 18th and 19th century Continental porcelain flowers, some with tole stems. Sold at 2001 Christie's London auction.
Nineteen 20th century porcelain flowers, part of the Gutfreund collection that was sold at Christie's last June.