The Wallace Collection

Vase and Cover, Sèvres porcelain, c.1770
Vase and Cover, Sèvres porcelain, c.1770

The great strengths of the ceramics collection are the 18th-century French Sèvres porcelain and the Italian Renaissance maiolica.

There are small holdings of 18th-century Meissen and Chinese Celadon porcelain, Spanish medieval pottery, Iznik fritware, German stonewares and earthenwares and Italian and French lead-glazed earthenwares, including Palissy ware.

English slipware, French faience and Persian ware are represented by individual examples and there is a pair of Doccia figures.

The Wallace Collection has the finest museum collection of Sèvres porcelain in the world. Almost exclusively modelled in the manufactory's exquisite soft-paste porcelain, the vases, tea wares, useful wares, biscuit figures and plaques range in date from the 1740s, when it was based at Vincennes, through its move to Sèvres and subsequent heyday under the enthusiastic patronage of Louis XV and his mistress madame de Pompadour, to the Revolutionary period.

The wonderful exuberance of the rococo style and the relative sobriety of neo-classicism are both strongly represented and many pieces have French royal or aristocratic associations. The Wallace Collection holds approximately 140 pieces of Italian Renaissance maiolica dating from the second half of the 15th to the late 16th centuries and made in various centres, including Cafaggiolo, Castel Durante, Deruta, Gubbio, Faenza, Siena, Montelupo, Urbino and Venice. Highlights include lustre wares from Deruta and Gubbio, dishes painted with narrative scenes and allegories by Francesco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo and pieces from the Fontana and Patanazzi workshops in Urbino. A 17th-century Castelli dish and several 19th century Renaissance-style pieces complete the collection.

Browse Ceramics on Wallace Live