11735

A RARE SET OF MENNECY PORCELAIN HERM FIGURES REPRESENTING THE FOUR SEASONS

Mennecy, France. Circa 1750.

Measurements

Height of tallest (Winter) 11 inches (27.9 cm).

Research
Of white soft paste porcelain, each in the form of a herm, the bust decorated with attributes of the four seasons and shawl draped around the shoulders continuing into a ribbed tapered pedestal, and raised on a waisted square socle with an acanthus leaf to each corners. Figures and socles of slightly differing scales.

Marks:
Each incised to the back with the factory mark: DV
The figures of Spring and Summer further incised: DV Pno3
The figures of Autumn further incised: DV 5
The figure of Winter further incised: DV f

These four soft paste porcelain figures representing the Four Seasons, each bear the incised factory mark of DV, for François Louis de Neufville, Duc de Villeroy its patron in Villeroy, near Mennecy, France.

The manufactory was first established in the town of Villeroy in 1735 by François Barbin (c. 1689–1765), son of a Parisian furniture maker. By 1748, Barbin had been denied permission to formally establish a kiln in Paris, and was forced to relocate due to increased political influence of the rival Vincennes factory, to which the King had granted royal privilege. No competition was permissible; Barbin could not even employ former workmen of Vincennes, nor could he imitate the production of the royal manufactory. As a result, Barbin moved the factory and took up permanent residence in nearby Mennecy, where works were housed in outbuildings known as “Les Petits Maisons,” on the Duc de Villeroy’s estate.

Full research report available on request. 

Full research report available on request.