On the base: “Manufacture Nle DES PORCELAINES DE SEVRES LA GARNITURE FAITE PAR THOMIRE A PARIS”
The original model of this monumental vase is exhibited at the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon and was designed by the pupil of the sculptor Michel-Ange Slodtz, Louis-Simon Boizot. He trained at the French Academy in Rome from 1765 to 1769, to arrive in 1773 at the Sèvres Factory, where he held the position of chief modeller until 1780, continuing his activity until his death in 1809. His pendant was taken from that model in 1784, exhibited in the Hall of Hercules of the Palatine Gallery. The shape of the vase is inspired by the ancient marble craters, also defined in the eighteenth century Medici Vases, due to the presence of a specimen of particular importance in the Medici collections.
Originally the model and pendant had the same composition with inserts in gilded bronze made by Pierre Philippe Thomire and characterised by garlands, leaves and spirals that outline the handles, in turn surmounted by elegant female figures that create a connection with the silhouette of these imposing vases. However, the specimen in the Palatine Gallery is missing the refined central band consisting of a biscuit bas-relief depicting two narratives of the myth of Venus, La Toilette de Vénus and Vénus Sur les Eaux, arranged on the main sides. Given its large size, it was made in several parts assembled and held firmly together by bronze applications. This complex structure leads to the hypothesis that the reliefs broke as a result of transfers that took place over time. The vase was sent by Napoleon to the Pitti Palace, as a gift to Louis I of Bourbon, whom he appointed king of Etruria in 1801.