The power of provenance can never be under estimated. A pair of exceptional vases once owned by Louis XVI sold for 10 times the estimate at Sotheby’s in London on April 28. They made £1,985,000 over an estimate of £150,000 – 250,000). This is a worldwide record for a Louis XVI gilt bronze mounted porcelain work of art.
The Brûle Parfums were bought in 1782 by Louis XVI, who planned to place them in the Louvre. With his demise the vases were taken to the State repository, the Dépôt de Nesle. The Dépôt was one of the cornerstones of the revolutionary drive to reorganize cultural properties. It was fundamental to the success of the creation of national and provincial museums. In 1797 these vases were exchanged for a significant natural history collection.
Decorated with delicate phoenix birds and dragons this exquisite 18th century Japanese porcelain is of the finest quality. The gilt-bronze-mounts, later added by the great connoisseur the Duc d’Aumont, were executed by Pierre Gouthière probably to a design by François-Joseph Belanger and date to Louis XVI, circa 1770-1775.