The Wallace Collection

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'Grand gobelet Saxe' et soucoupe
  • Cup and Saucer
  • 'Grand gobelet Saxe' et soucoupe
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Gabriel Rousseau, Painter, Possibly
  • Sèvres, France
  • 1761
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Cup, Height: 8.6 cm
    Saucer, Height: 3.9 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 15.5 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls enclosing 'I' the date letter for 1761 Painted
    Painter's mark: A dot enclosed by a circle, possibly for Gabrial Rousseau
    Incised mark: A reversed '3'
    Incised mark: '3'
  • C372
  • European Armoury III
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 1750s remaining in production for many years.
    This model, the ‘grand gobelet Saxe et soucoupe’, comprises a large cup with an elaborate handle of moulded acanthus leaves and a shallow saucer. It was introduced in 1760, but various descriptions of cups show the influence of Meissen (Europe's hitherto leading manufactory, located in Saxony) forms at Vincennes from 1752.
    Both pieces are decorated with an underglaze blue ground overlaid with caillouté ('pebble-stone') and vermiculé ('worm-tunnel') gilding, and painted with pastoral scenes of children in landscapes. On the cup is a boy with a dog and a rifle, and a boy with a birdcage; on the saucer is a girl, frightened by an eel emerging from a fishing net above her. This delightful scene is adapted from ‘La pésche’, engraved by Jean-Baptiste Le Prince after one of eight decorative panels painted by Boucher for Madame de Pompadour’s boudoir at the château of Crécy. The source for the boy and dog on the cup – although also very much in the style of Boucher, has not been identified, but it also appears on other pieces.