On offer is a set of two beautiful porcelain campana vases made around the year 1815, attributed to Edmé Samson in Paris. The vases have a beautiful lilac ground, beautiful gilding and hand painted flower reserves.

 

Edmé Samson was founded in Paris in 1845 and specialised in making replacements for valuable items of the French gentry and museums. They became so good at this that they eventually grew out to be the "great imitators" - not necessarily to fool anyone, but more to fill in gaps in collections that had arisen through breakage and wear, and to offer the new French bourgeoisie an affordable way to obtain pieces of top quality. This is how they came to create many items in the style of Sèvres, Meissen, Bow, Chelsea and Derby. The good Samson pieces are now highly collectable in their own right as they rival the quality of the originals.

 

The shape of these vases is called the "campana" shape and it was very popular in the Regency era in the early 19th Century. The vases are lightly potted in thin, very perfect hard paste porcelain (which is different from the English soft paste bone china) and have two handles with little masks, all gilded. They have a very unusual and beautiful lilac ground colour. The front of the vases have white reserves with a beautifully hand painted flower arrangements; on the bellies and the necks of the vases are small diamond-shaped reserves with exotic birds. The way the flowers are painted is slightly different from the way they would have been painted in England, so it seems clear that the vases were made in Continental Europe and not England.

 

Both vases are marked with a gilt mark for the Plymouth factory, which seems a bit of a mystery. The Plymouth factory only ran between 1768 and 1770, and the mark subsequently was used at Bristol until 1784 - but these vases are in a 19th Century style so they could never be from Plymouth or Bristol. It is therefore likely that these are Edmé Samson vases, meant to imitate the beautiful hard paste porcelain made at Plymouth, but getting the style wrong.

 

CONDITION REPORT The vases are in perfect antique condition without any damage, repairs, crazing or significant wear. 

 

Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.

 

There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!

 

DIMENSIONS the vases are 12cm high (4.75").

 

SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. Please note that due to the pandemic shipping costs have generally gone up steeply, and although I use only the most reliable couriers, there can sometimes be some delays.

Two campana vases attr. to Edmé Samson, lilac, birds and flowers, ca 1815

SKU: A-SAM06
£825Price
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Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

For now, please bear with us as we do our best to get your parcels to you as quickly as we can! 

If needed we are happy to hold your parcel for you until the end of the pandemic.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss and thank you for your business - it is a vital support for our business! 🙏

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copyright on all images and text

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