Plateau 'Courteille', four gobelets 'Hébert' et soucoupes of the second size and pot à sucre 'Bouret' of the first size
  • Tray and Tea Service
  • Plateau 'Courteille', four gobelets 'Hébert' et soucoupes of the second size and pot à sucre 'Bouret' of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Sèvres, France
  • Date: 1759
  • Medium: Soft-paste porcelain, painted and gilded
  • Size: Tray, C401, 36.2 x 26.4 cm
  • Height: Four cups, C402-5, 6.4 cm
  • Diameter: Four saucers, C402-5, 13.4 cm
  • Height: Sugar bowl and cover, C406, 11.2 cm
  • Inv: C401-6
  • Location: Back State Room
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Further Reading
  • A ‘déjeuner’ was a small tea set which included cups and saucers and sometimes other items used for breakfast on a tray. Here two cups and saucers 'gobelets et soucoupes Hébert' and a sugar-bowl 'pot à sucre Bouret’ are paired with a tray 'plateau Courteille'. The model of the tray was named after the marquis de Courteille, the King’s representative in charge of the Vincennes/Sèvres manufactory, to whom the first example of this tray was presented in December 1753.

    All pieces are decorated with an underglaze blue and an overglaze green ground, a combiation which was mainly used between 1758 and 60 and technically very difficult to achieve. The blue is overlaid with an elaboate gilded pattern known as ‘œil de perdrix’ (partridge’s eye). Framed by srpays of flowers, the charming figural scenes show children engaged in rustic pursuits such as fishing, collecting flowers, and churning butter. Painted by Andre-Vincent Vielliard (op. 1752-90), they are based on prints after François Boucher whose compositions were frequetly taken up at the Sèvres manufactory.

    The service was probably bought by Madame de Pompadour at the big annual sale in December 1759. A teapot and milk jug could be missing from this service, or household examples of silver could have been used in conjunction with the porcelain. This would have been a sensible solution to the porcelain not being able to withstand very hot temperatures, which was one of the drawbacks of the soft-paste material.