I have always loved thes gorgeous Sèvres elephant vases at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Only 22 remain in collections today and due to their complexity, they were produced in a very limited quantity. Dating to about 1758, the two examples below are of soft-paste porcelain and were the work of the modeler Jean-Claude Duplessis (ca. 1695–1774). Much favored by the French court, owners included Madame de Pompadour who owned 3 sets!
Madame de Pompadour, mistress to Louis XV, had retreat away from the Court, the Petit Trianon, a small palace built for her by the king.
Though by the early1750s she was no longer the king’s mistress, she over saw new construction at Versailles as well as recommending the establishment of the Sèvres porcelain factory.
Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame, François-Hubert Drouais, 1763-4, The National Gallery, London
In her honor I also share some gorgeous images of orchids from The New York Botanical Garden show earlier this year. None of these are the Dendrobium Orchids actually named Madame Pompadour, but they are quite beautiful and I think she would approve.