Sir Geoffrey's vases
A while ago I was very lucky to come across a garniture of three Ridgway vases from about 1810-1815. They immediately caught my eye, as apart from the fact that they are of course stunning, they looked familiar. Once I had received them and I saw the remains of a collection mark on the underside of the middle one, I realised why: they had belonged to Sir Geoffrey Godden, the well respected porcelain expert who wrote dozens of books on porcelain.
In fact, the middle vase is on the frontispiece of his book on Ridgway porcelain. That's a book I have gone through many, many times so no wonder the vase looked familiar to me.
The vase then went on a long journey as it needed a small repair but got caught up in the pandemic, and it took me a year to get it back. But now, beautifully restored, the trio is shining in full glory.
I would have loved to take pictures in a beautiful setting but alas, the pandemic is not over yet so my own bout with COVID prevented me from going to my photo studio and taking pretty pictures... so we'll have to do with these simple listing pictures. But... do they need any more?? Aren't these vases gorgeous?
The style is called "Empire" (pronounced the French way: am-PEER), the French neo-classical style of the day. Those intriguing female sculpted figures on the sides are called caryatids, popular on Greek temples as architectural supports that were in fact pillars - you'll have seen the famous ones on the Erechteion in Athens (see the picture below). The word caryatid comes from the Greek karyatides, which means "maidens of Karyai". Karyai was an ancient town on the Peloponnese that was known for its nuts; the maidens would perform a dance with baskets of reeds on their heads.
The flower painting on these vases is sublime; so many species of very English garden flowers, the seasons all jumbled up together in a feast of colour. And what about that cheeky periwinkle-coloured shell and flower detail in the neck of the vases, popping out of the beautiful cobalt blue and gilt patterns?
Where to find things
These vases are now for sale in my shop; you can find a whole page with decorative items here. You can find all my available stock here. If you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story every single day.
And in the meantime...
Please keep giving to Ukraine as the crisis persists! 🇺🇦 A massive refugee crisis has emerged in Eastern Europe as millions of women and children are pouring out of Ukraine every hour of the day and night. Your gift will help relieve some of the suffering. One way to go is to give to one of the large organisations such as the Red Cross, the IRC, Save the Children, Médecins Sans Frontières... they will make your money count where and when it is needed. But if you prefer to give to people who work directly with refugees, I know a reliable option for you: check out this wonderful project of a trusted friend of mine, who started a place in Warsaw where small children can come for lunch, play, language classes and psychological support: https://zrzutka.pl/en/hatx9t.
Wish List ❤️
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Happy weekend, and please give generously! 💛🇺🇦💙
The Caryatid porch of the Erechtheion in Athens, Greece. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
This week's new treasures: