The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Pot à lait 'à trois pieds' of the first size
  • Milk Jug
  • Pot à lait 'à trois pieds' of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Guillaume Noël (1734 - 1804), Painter
  • Sèvres, France
  • 1778
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Height: 11.7 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls
    Date mark: 'AA' for 1778
    Painter's mark: For Guillaume Noël
    Incised mark: '5'
  • C374
  • Study
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This bulbous milk jug, with three branch-like feet and handle, may have been intended for cold milk since it doesn’t come with a lid. The model was introduced in 1752 and despite its rocaille-inspired shape remained in production until the 1790s and was reintroduced in the 1860s.
    Usually sold individually, it would also be produced with matching tea wares. Silver cream jugs on three feet were already made in the first half of the eighteenth century, and Meissen made a porcelain example by 1740. The ‘crabstock’-handle (representing the knotted branch of a crab apple tree) derives from Chinese porcelain.

    This example is decorated with a blue scale-pattern ground, each scale outlined in gilding, and painted with birds and foliage. The feet and handle are gilded to resemble a knotted wood pattern.
    The jug originally belonged to large service, parts of which are now at Knole and in a private collection. In addition to the painter’s mark of Guillaume Noël, who probably painted the scale pattern, (op. 1755-1804) some of these pieces also bear that of the bird painter Antoine-Joseph Chappuis (op. 1756−1787). The service was probably acquired by the dealer Dulac and must subsequently have been bought by the Duke of Dorset who was ambassador to Paris in 1783-9 (hence the bulk of the service is still at Knole), or by his wife and her seconds husband, Lord Whitwoth, also Ambassador to Paris between 1802-3.