The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Gobelot 'litron' et soucoupe of the first size
  • Cup and Saucer
  • Gobelot 'litron' et soucoupe of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Charles-Nicolas Dodin (1734 - 1803), Painter
    Etienne-Henry Le Guay, The Elder (1719 - 1799), Gilder
  • Sèvres, France
  • 1781
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Cup, Height: 7.4 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 14.6 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced L enclosing 'dd' the date letter for 1781 Painted
    Painter's mark: 'k' for Charles Nicolas Dodin Painted
    Gilder's mark: 'LG' for Etienne-Henry Le Guay Painted in gilding
    Incised mark: '45'
    Incised mark: '11'
    Incised mark: '43'
  • C352
  • Study
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.
    From the 1760s there was a fashion for collecting differently decorated examples. Examples of this shape of cup and saucer, the 'gobelet litron et soucoupe', which were elaborately decorated or were made in miniature size were probably made for display rather than use. It is a measure of the success of Sèvres that domestic items were considered works of art as soon as they left the factory.
    This cup and saucer have painting and gilding of the highest quality. Scenes from a military encampment are depicted, painted by Charles-Nicolas Dodin (op. 1754-1802/3), who was one of the finest artists working at Sèvres. The palyful scenes and great eye for detail in the rendering of the uniforms are distinctive among the common subject-matter of military depictions. Over the white ground there is a gilded border of a Vitruvian scroll and harebell pattern, characteristic of neo-classical decoration of this period.