The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Gobelet 'litron' et soucoup of the first size
  • Cup and Saucer
  • Gobelet 'litron' et soucoup of the first size
  • Manufacture de Vincennes
  • Vincennes, France
  • c. 1753
  • Soft-paste porcelain, gilded
  • Cup, Height: 7.6 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 15.2 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls, in underglaze blue Painted
    Incised mark: '3'
    Incised mark: 'f'
  • C345
  • Back State Room
Commentary
History
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Further Reading
  • The European cup for drinking tea evolved gradually during the first half of the eighteenth century, adapted from the Chinese porcelain tea bowls in which tea was originally drunk when it became fashionable in Europe at the end of the seventeenth century. By 1752, the Vincennes manufactory (the early name for Sèvres) was making a wide range of tea wares, many models of the early 1750s remaining in production for the rest of the century. Most cups and saucers could be used for tea, coffee or chocolate, often being sold with matching teapots or, more rarely, coffee pots.
    Many Vincennes examples have a bleu lapis ground and gilded birds, like this cup and saucer. The birds are depicted in the air, or standing on terraces of shrubs and flowers, as on this cup. The reserves are edged with gilded cartouches of trellis-work, flowers and foliage. In the early days of production these cartouches were used to hide areas where the underglaze blue had run, but they became a widespread decorative motif. The gilding gives the porcelain a wonderfully rich and luxurious appearance.


    Cup and saucer, the cup tall and cyindrical with a scroll handle. Decorated with an underglaze blue ground and gilded in white reserves with birds on terraces of shrubs and flowers and in the air. The handle of the cup is gilded with lambrequin patterns.