The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Gobelet 'litron' et soucoupe of the second size
  • Cup and Saucer
  • Gobelet 'litron' et soucoupe of the second size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1766
  • Soft-paste porcelain, gilded, painted and overglazed
  • Cup, Height: 6.7 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 13.8 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced L's Painted
    Incised mark: Reversed 'S'
    Incised mark: 'ae'
    Incised mark: '3'
  • C346
  • Back State Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
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.
    Both this cup and saucer are decorated with an overglaze blue 'bleu nouveau' ground (introduced in 1763 to replace the earlier underglaze blue) overlaid with gilding, and painted with light-hearted scenes of military encampments. The reserves are edged with a gilded band and the ground is also gilded with diagonal lines of dots (reminiscent of drum straps) and wreaths of oak leaves with acorns. An identical cup and saucer, painted by Jean-Louis Morin - on of Sèvres's most accomplished figure painters - and dated 1766, is in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the same scenes were painted by him on other pieces.