Potpourri vases always have holes in the top to let the scent of dried spices and flowers contained within freshen the air around them.
This vase--part of a pair of covered vases--was created to contain potpourri, a mixture of flowers, herbs, and spices emitting ambient fragrance. This specific function offered a particularly fertile ground for the development of French porcelain from the mid-1700s, as manufactories experimented with forms, surface ornamentations, and placement of perforations. Produced by the firm of Edmé Samson in the 1800s, the vases pay homage to this history. While using updated technique and material, as well as more exuberant decorations, these vases draw upon designs by earlier innovators such as the Saint-Cloud manufactory.
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