The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Théière 'Calabre'
  • Teapot and Cover
  • Théière 'Calabre'
  • Manufacture de Vincennes
  • Vincennes, France
  • 1753 - 1754
  • Soft-paste porcelain, gilded
  • Height: 12.5 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls enclosing 'A' the date letter for 1753 - 1754 Ls in underlgaze blue, 'A' in overglaze blue
    Incised mark: '3'
  • C378
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
  • This egg-shaped model, with an ear-shaped handle and flower knop, was introduced in 1752. It was the most common teapot made at the manufactory, and remained in production until the 1780s. Like many early models introduced at Vincennes (the early place of production before it was moved to Sèvres in 1756), the model was named after a shareholder of the manufactory, in this case Pierre Calabre. Although the pot came in different sizes, it generally seems surprisingly small, especially given that it often came in a set with several cups to serve. The explanation may be that it contained a highly concentrated brew, which would then be diluted and cooled down in the cup.

    Decorated with a dark blue ‘bleu lapis’ ground, this teapot is gilded with birds set in elaborate cartouches – a popular motif on ‘bleu lapis’-pieces of the early 1750s. The baroque forms of the cartouches may have been inspired by late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century French faience and only briefly appear at Vincennes before being superseded by rococo motifs.