Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Sugar bowl - Pot a sucre

Pot a sucre

  • Object:

    Sugar bowl

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1751 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vincennes porcelain factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case U, shelf 2 []

The Vincennes porcelain factory had a link to the French crown from the start as it was established in about 1740 in the semi- abandoned royal fortress of the château de Vincennes to the east of Paris. The porcelain specialists working there were intent on solving the technical challenges of porcelain production as huge sums were paid by wealthy aristocrats for this glassy white substance which, up to then, was mostly imported from East Asia or the Meissen factory in what is now Germany. During the early 1740s the majority of the Vincennes factory's products were probably experimental as the porcelain body was still being perfected and different enamel colours invented. In 1745 however, they secured a royal 'privilège' which granted them the exclusive right to produce porcelain ‘in Meissen style’ in France. As the wording suggests, the factory's earliest productions were indebted to the prestigious Meissen factory. The factory's repertoire quickly evolved however, from the emulation of East Asian or Meissen examples to incorporate the latest styles used in French gilt-bronze, woodcarving and decorative painting. The financial support and patronage of King Louis XV and his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, enabled Vincennes to secure the best technicians, artists, sculptors and designers. Jean-Claude Duplessis (director of models, 1748-74), Jean-Jacques Bachelier (director of decoration, 1751-93), Etienne-Maurice Falconet (director of sculpture, 1757-66), and the court painter François Boucher, all played a central role in the development of this entirely new French art form. By 1756 the factory had outgrown its workshops in the old château and it transferred to specially constructed premises at Sèvres (south-west of Paris). In 1759 the king purchased the factory outright and remarkably the Sèvres porcelain manufactory continues in production to the present day.

This sugar basin and cover with its monochrome green decoration is copying the fashion of the Meissen factory of the late 1740s. Joanna Gwilt has matched similar landscape subjects on Vincennes porcelain to etchings after the seventeenth century Dutch artist Anthonie Waterloo (1601-90).

Gwilt, Joanna. Vincennes and Early Sèvres Porcelain from the Belvedere Collection. London, V & A Publishing, 2013.

Physical description

Form: sinuous sided
Ground: white + cam. vert
Decoration: landscapes in camaieu vert
Knop Form: leaves remain

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1751 (made)


Vincennes porcelain factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt

Marks and inscriptions

Interlaced 'L's in blue enamel and 2 dots, one above the other enclosed
Maker's mark


Height: 8.1 cm, Diameter: 10.7 cm

Descriptive line

Soft-paste porcelain sugar bowl made by Vincennes porcelain factory, France, ca. 1751

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Exh. Porcelains de Vincennes, Paris 1977/8 cat. no. 207, p.87.
Gwilt, Joanna. Vincennes and Early Sèvres Porcelain from the Belvedere Collection. London, V & A Publishing, 2013. See nos. 46 and 87 for monochrome landscapes of similar type.

Production Note

Porcelain de Vincennes 1977 cat 207


Soft paste porcelain


Painted; Glazed; Gilt


Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; Porcelain; Ceramics


Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.