The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Gobelet 'Calabre' et soucoupe of the first size
  • Cup and Saucer
  • Gobelet 'Calabre' et soucoupe of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1770
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Cup, Height: 8.1 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 15.4 cm
  • Mark: Interlaced Ls Painted
    Incised mark: 'SP'
    Incised mark: 'S'
  • C363
  • Study
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, like this one, the ‘gobelet Calabre’ which was introduced in 1752 and is still being produced today. The cup is fairly tall, tapers at the base and has a simple scroll handle. They were sold either as part of a ‘déjeuner’ of tray, cups, saucers (sometimes), milk jug and sugar bowl or in sets with matching saucers, milk jugs, sugar bowls and teapots. The deep saucer that was paired with it was probably used for cooling liquid from the cup, and as a drinking dish.

    The cup and saucer are decorated with an overglaze-blue 'beau bleu' ground and painted with pastoral scenes loosely based on works by François Boucher: on the cup the shepherd is from Gilles Demarteau’s engraving ‘La pipée’, while on the saucer the shepherdess is from Claude Duflos’s engraving ‘Ce pasteur amoureux chante sur sa musette …’ of 1751-2.