Porcelain wine-cooler

Vincennes, France, about AD 1748

Perseus rescuing Andromeda

This soft-paste porcelain wine-cooler for half-bottles (seau à demi-bouteille), was made by the Vincennes factory (1740-53). The Vincennes factory was established in 1740, and accounts were kept from May 1741. The concern was moved to Sèvres in 1753, where it continues to this day. No designs survive for this model, and such sophisticated decoration is rarely found on wine-coolers. Gilding on porcelain was not regularly used until after October 1748, when the factory acquired the secret of the preparation of gold and its method of application. The absence of gilding on such a splendid piece as this suggests a date of manufacture before the end of 1748.

The two well-executed polychrome scenes on a white ground show Perseus and Andromeda, and Venus reclining with seven cupids in a landscape.

The scene of Perseus rescuing Andromeda is based on a painting by François Lemoyne (1688-1737) which is now in the Wallace Collection, London. The reclining Venus in a landscape is probably based on a painting by François Boucher (1703-1770).

The cooler has realistically modelled and painted twig handles with apple blossoms and leaves, and is elaborately decorated with a mosaic pattern with stylized flowers within a lozenge, and ornament in puce.

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Porcelain wine-cooler

  • Decoration from other side of wine-cooler

    Decoration from other side of wine-cooler


More information


A. Dawson, A catalogue of French porcelai, revised paperback edition (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)


Diameter: 18.600 cm (without handles)
Height: 16.800 cm

Museum number

M&ME Franks 506


Bequeathed by Sir A.W. Franks


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