An exquisite pair of French Charles X porcelain fruit “corbeilles”, with radiant Empire polychrome decorations of the Neoclassical vocabulary, almost certainly Paris, about 1825-1830

An exquisite pair of French Charles X period porcelain circular reticulated fruit “corbeilles”, with radiant and bold Empire polychrome decorations of the Neoclassical vocabulary, most notably seen in the cadmium* azure blue bandings, which are punctuated with gilt-details depicting leaves and blossoms. Underneath these bandings are highly unusual and distinctive foliate leaves in green and gold, almost certainly Paris, about 1825-1830, possibly made by Darte Freres, active 1804-1828

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DIMENSIONS: Height: 8 1/2″, Width (top): 9 1/2″.

CONDITION: Pristine with no breaks or chips. Only the most minor and expected wear, or rubbing, to the gilded surfaces of each. Each corbeille is composed of two separate porcelain parts, which are secured together by means of a hand-cast steel rod. These uneven threads are fastened with hand-cut nuts, which attests to their general age. After 1820, technological advancements in the field of  industry replaced this outdated technique. Both steel rods and nuts are original. Each displays significant oxidation and they posses a meniscus ring around their connections.


PROVENANCE: A notable Hudson River, New York estate of note, to be made available to the purchaser.

NOTES/ABSTRACT: Brilliantly colored, with good permanence and tinting power, cadmium pigments are a class of pigments that have cadmium as one of their chemical components. Such pigments were exceptionally costly, and enjoyed widespread popularity by the upper-classes on both sides of the Atlantic during the late Georgian period [1760-1810] French Empire period [1799-1814] and the Neoclassical period [1785-1820]. These radiant colors, or pigments, were employed in household paint color schemes, wallpapers, furniture embellishments, oil-on-canvases, and decorative arts of all kinds, including porcelains.

Reticulated, or “pierced” porcelain fruit corbeilles, such as the examples made mentioned here, were fashioned in this manner for the purpose of providing circulating air around fresh fruit in order to keep it from spoiling in the residences of the upper-classes that had yet to be fitted with the modern convenience of climate control. Often served as part of a lavish dessert course after a multi-course dinner, an abundance of fruits were generally served to diners along with a wide assortment of rich custards, puddings, cheeses, nuts, and fortified wines.

REFERENCES: “Porcelain of Paris, 1770-1850”, by Regine De Plinval De Guillebon, 1972.

“Faïence et Porcelaine de Paris XVIII-XIX siècles“, by Madam Regine de Plinval de Guillebon”, 1995.

“The Sevres Ceramics Art Museum”, Sevres, France.

$6,500. La paire

If you are interested in acquiring this pair of fruit “corbeilles”, or if you would simply like additional information about them, including additional photographs, please feel to contact C. Lyman McCallum, Jr. personally at 1~803~834~3787 or simply email us at

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