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
  • Gobelet 'Calabre' et soucoupe of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Charles-Eloi Asselin (1743 - 1804), Painter
    Etienne-Henry Le Guay, The Elder (1719 - 1799), Gilder
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1775 - 1780
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Height: 8.3 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls
    Painter's mark: 'A.' for Charles-Eloi Asselin
    Gilder's mark: 'LG' for Etienne-Henry Le Guay In mauvish-grey
    Incised mark: 'MC'
  • C365
  • 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, 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.

    This cup is decorated with a dark blue 'beau bleu' ground and ground shows two children playing with a lamb painted by Charles-Eloi Asselin (op. 1765-98, 1800-4). The elaborate gilded decoration of flower garlands suspended from a scroll and diaper-pattern border was executed by Etienne Henry Le Guay, who, despite having lost his left hand in battle, was one of Sèvres’ most accomplished gilders. Although originally acquired with its saucer, they were separated by 1890 when the cup was combined with a different saucer (museum number C351). The correct saucer was later listed in the collection of Sir John Murray Scott, who inherited much of Lady Wallace’s collection.