The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Goblet 'litron' et soucoupe of the third size
  • Cup and Saucer
  • Goblet 'litron' et soucoupe of the third size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Jacques Fontaine (1735 - 1807), Painter
  • Sèvres, France
  • 1769
  • Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Cup, Height: 5.7 cm
    Saucer, Diameter: 12.1 cm
  • Factory mark: Interlaced Ls enclosing 'Q' the date letter for 1769 Painted
    Painter's mark: For Jacques Fontaine Painted
    Incised mark: '91' Indistinct
    Incised mark: '66'
    Incised mark: '44'
    Label: 'XX' and '19' 'XX' inscribed and '19' printed
  • C347
  • Study
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. Most cups and saucers could be used for tea, coffee or chocolate, often being sold with matching teapots or, more rarely, coffee pots.
    From the 1760s there was a fashion for collecting differently decorated examples. Examples of this shape of cup and saucer, the 'gobelet litron et soucoupe', which were elaborately decorated or were made in miniature size, were probably made for display rather than use. It is a measure of the success of Sèvres that domestic items were considered works of art as soon as they left the factory.
    This cup and saucer has an ear-shaped scroll handle, one of the seven different handle shapes made for this model. It is decorated with a pale blue pointillé ground and painted in grisaille with medallions on the cup and ovals on the saucer, suspended from gilded oak-leaf garlands. The cup has the cameo heads of a girl and a bearded man, while the trophies on the saucer are emblematic of War.