Lot 218. A French silver mounted two-handled Imari bowl and cover, the mounts, Paul Leriche, Paris, 1722-1726, with associated unmarked stand. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 GBP. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the porcelain decorated in reds, greens, blues and gold with floral sprays, the bowl, cover and stand with gadrooned rims, the bowl with bifurcated scrolling handles chased with leaves, the slightly-domed cover flat-chased with Regence foliage, the finial cast as a blooming flower on a sun-burst calyx; the bowl 20.9cm., 8 1/4 in. over handles.
Provenance: Sotheby's, Paris, 10 April 2008, lot 117
Bibliography: A very similar bowl, cover and stand, bearing marks for Paris, 1717-22, was sold at Sotheby's, Monaco, 16 June 1996, lot 168.
Note: The majority of French silver-mounted porcelain dates from the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The Simaese Ambassador's visit to Versailles in 1686 awoke the taste for oriental wares; the fashion for embellishing the porcelain by adding silver mounts, which only ever applied to a fraction of the overall trade, reaching its peak during The Regence (1715-23).
In the trades early days much of the porcelain was supplied by the Dutch East India Company. However, before long, French traders took advantage of the huge demand, and in 1700 the Mercure de France announced the arrival of the Amphitrite, a ship carrying a cargo of 180,000 pieces of porcelain. By 1722 individual French ships were carrying up to 300,000 pieces. (see C. Sargentson, Merchants and Luxury Markets, London, 1966, pp.64-66).