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
  • Christophe-Ferdinand Caron (1774 - 1831), Painter
    Etienne-Henry Le Guay, The Elder (1719 - 1799), Gilder
  • Sèvres, France
  • 1792
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Cup, Height: 7.6 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 14.6 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls enclosing 'PP' the date letter for 1792
    Painter's mark: 'FC' for Christophe-Ferdinand Caron
    Painter's mark: '∙FC∙' for Christophe-Ferdinand Caron
    Gilder's mark: 'LG' for Etienne-Henry Le Guay In greyish-blue
    Incised mark: '48a'
    Incised mark: '34'
    Inscription: 'Venus et Adonis'
    Inscription: 'Mars et Venus'
  • C355
  • 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.
    Scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses decorate both pieces, with Venus and Adonis on the cup and Venus and Mars on the saucer.Taken from engravings after François Boucher, both also appear on a wine glass cooler in the large dinner service made for Louis XV.