The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Gobelet 'litron' et soucoupe of the first size
  • Cup and Saucer
  • Gobelet 'litron' et soucoupe of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Charles-Antoine Didier (born 1756/7), Painter
    Louis-François Lécot (1741 - 1800), Gilder
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1788
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Cup, Height: 7.5 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 14.9 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls enclosing interlaced Ls, possibly a conceit for LL, the date letter for 1788 Painted
    Painter's mark: A cross of Lorraine for Charles-Antoine Didier Painted
    Gilder's mark: 'L.' for Louis-François Lécot Painted
    Gilder's mark: 'L' for Louis-François Lécot Painted
    Incised mark: '36, f' (?)
    Incised mark: '3'
    Incised mark: '36'
  • C353
  • 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.
    The dog on this cup is after a sketch by Alexandre-François Desportes of a dog called Nonette painted for the marquis de Livry in 1711. The sketch is still in the Sèvres Archives today. The Desportes collection of oil sketches and drawings was bought by Louis XVI in 1784, intended for the Gobelins, but the potential as models for Sèvres meant that they were delivered to the royal porcelain manufactory instead. The scene on the saucer is from an engraving by Gilles Demarteau after Jean-Baptiste Huet, of 1772. It was painted by the Sèvres artist Charles-Antoine Didier, who seems to have specialised in animal subjects but whose other skills included colouring Sèvres porcelain false teeth.