The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Soucoupe of the goblet 'litron' of the first size
  • Saucer
  • Soucoupe of the goblet 'litron' of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Nicolas-Pierre Pithou (1750 - 1818), Painter
    Etienne-Henry Le Guay, The Elder (1719 - 1799), Gilder
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1779
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Diameter: 14.8 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls Painted in mauvish grey
    Gilder's mark: 'LG' for Etienne-Henry Le Guay Painted in mauvish grey
    Incised mark: '43a'
  • C351
  • Study
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The painted decoration of this saucer is very unusual. The still-life depicting weapons, a fox’s skin, a snake, balance and two masks is taken from an engraving by Pierre Drevet of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England from 1653-58, whose portrait decorated a matching cup (now lost). The painting was executed by Nicolas-Pierre Pithou (op. 1759/60-7, 1769-95) and the gilding by Etienne Henry Le Guay (op. 1742-3, 1748-9, 1751-96).

    The depiction of the anti-royalist and anti-Catholic Cromwell certainly seems a surprising choice of subject for a royal manufactory like Sèvres and he would not be portrayed again until the Revolution.
    The cup and saucer were probably directly commissioned by Louise-Jeanne de Durfort, duchesse de Mazarin, who bought them in December 1779, although the circumstances of this commission remain unclear.

    The set was separated at some stage before 1890, when the saucer was combined with another cup (see C365, also in this case). The mismatched counter-parts entered the collection of Sir John Murray Scott, secretary and residuary legatee of Lady Wallace.