The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Possibly gobelet 'couvert' of the first size and soucoupe 'litron' of the second size
  • Cup and Saucer
  • Possibly gobelet 'couvert' of the first size and soucoupe 'litron' of the second size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Louis-Denis Armand The Elder, cup
  • Sèvres, France
  • 1760 - 1761 (with replacement saucer)
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Cup, Height: 7 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 14 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls (foliate on the cup) enclosing 'h' the date letter for 1760-1761
    Painter's mark: The crescent associated with Louis-Denis Armand The Elder
    Incised mark: A reversed 'S'
    Incised mark: 'I'
  • C368
  • Back State Room
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 many years, like this one, the ‘gobelet couvert et soucoupe’, of which examples are known from 1753 until c. 1780.
    The straight-sided cup, indented at the base, was made with and without handles, and was often produced with a slightly domed cover with a flower knop. It was combined with two different styles of saucers: either ‘litron’, with a deep, sloping side (see museum numbers C345-56), or ‘Bouillard’, a plain shallow bowl (museum numbers C357-9). Gobelets couvertes were included in déjeuners (that is, with a tray) or were sold with a sugar bowl or teapot. They were also used for coffee drinking. The cover kept the contents of the cup warm.
    This example has a green ground, painting of birds in landscapes and gilded peacock feathers. The painting on the saucer is inferior, which, also given the lack of marks on it and a black pitting, suggests that it is a later replacement. The set matches a cup and saucer with milk jug sold at Sotheby’s New York in 1980.