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Dame Rosalind Savill DBE, FSA, FBA

A Birthday Bouquet:
Madame de Pompadour’s Love of Flowers and Vincennes/Sèvres Porcelain

Monday, January 10, 2022

2 PM via Zoom

Vase or Flower Pot and Stand (Vase Hollandois [first size]), Vincennes, 1756, soft-paste porcelain. Interlaced Ls marks enclosing date letter C for 1756 in blue, and painter's mark for Aubert l'ainé (active 1754-58) H. 8 ½ in. (21.6 cm.); L. 11 in. (27.9 cm.). Private Collection.

This floral tribute, celebrating Madame de Pompadour’s 300th birthday on 29 December 2021, will show how she and the royal factory of Vincennes/Sèvres brought the rococo garden indoors with porcelain flowers, flower pots, bulb pots and pot-pourri vases.  She displayed these innovative pieces in most of her rooms, often on the chimney piece or dining table, and even in her bathrooms.  But with her death this fleeting new naturalism gave way to ornamental neo-classical vases and the rococo passion for flowers died with her.

Dame Rosalind Savill, DBE, FBA, FSA, former Director of the Wallace Collection in London, began her career at the Victoria and Albert Museum as an assistant in the ceramics department. After moving to the Wallace Collection, she worked first as a museum assistant and rose to become director of this institution, a position she held for almost twenty years before retiring in 2011. Her three-volume book, The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain, for which she was awarded the National Art Collection Fund Prize for Scholarship in 1990, took a decade to produce.


She has visiting professorships at the University of Buckingham and the

University of Arts, London. She won the European Woman of Achievement Award (Arts and Media 2005), and her current trusteeships include the Royal Collection Trust and the Samuel Courtauld Trust. She is also a Syndic of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and on the Academic Committee of the Rothschild Foundation at Waddesdon Manor. In addition, she currently serves as president of the French Porcelain Society.


Her new book, Everyday Rococo: Mme. de Pompadour and Sèvres Porcelain, is a richly illustrated, year by year chronology of Mme. de Pompadour's daily life and purchases.


Home Page Image: 

Milk jug (Broc ordinaire (pot à eau [fourth size]), Sèvres. 1758, soft-paste porcelain. Interlaced Ls mark enclosing date letter E for 1758 in blue, and painter's mark for Vincent Taillandier (active 1753-90). H. 4 1/3 in. (11 cm.). Private Collection.

Vase or Flower Pot and Stand (Vase Hollandois [first size]), Vincennes, 1756, soft-paste porcelain. Interlaced Ls marks enclosing date letter C for 1756 in blue, and painter's mark for Aubert l'ainé (active 1754-58) H. 8 ½ in. (21.6 cm.); L. 11 in. (27.9 cm.). Private Collection.

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