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Elephant Candelabrum Vase (Vase à Tête d'Eléphant)

A work made of soft-paste porcelain, polychrome enamels, and gilding.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of soft-paste porcelain, polychrome enamels, and gilding.


c. 1757–58


Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory (French, founded 1740)
Design attributed to Jean-Claude Duplessis (French, c. 1695-1774)
Painted by Pierre-Louis-Philippe Armand (French, active 1758-1781)

About this artwork

This model is one of the more exotic forms created by Jean-Claude Duplessis. The elephants’ trunks originally supported double candle sockets that are now missing. The idea of combining elephant heads with a vase may have derived from a Ming dynasty Chinese vase or a Meissen candelabrum. The Sèvres painter Pierre-Louis-Philippe Armand accentuated the sensuous qualities of the elephants by framing their brown eyes with pink lids and long eyelashes.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Jean-Claude Duplessis (Designer)


Elephant Candelabrum Vase (Vase à Tête d'Eléphant)


Sèvres (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Soft-paste porcelain, polychrome enamels, and gilding


Mark: interlaced L's enclosing letter E with dots above and below; "482" in red overglaze; incised on body on base: "MLi"


38.5 × 25 × 14.7 cm (15 1/8 × 9 13/16 × 5 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Joseph Maier and Arthur Lewis Liebman Memorial: Gift of Kenneth J. Maier, M.D.

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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