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The Garrick Service

  • Object:

    Travelling case

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (probably, manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca. 1761 - 1764 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oak with tulipwood parquetry, brass fixings, with silk and metal braid interior and paper labels

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with funds from the Capt. H.B. Murray Bequest and with the support of the V&A Director's Circle

  • Museum number:

    C.57:1 to 12-2011

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 3, case CA8 []

This tea service was bought by the famous actor, playwright and theatre manager, David Garrick (1717-1779), on a visit to Paris in 1764-1765. The tea service was made by the French royal porcelain manufactory at Sèvres. The fluted design is called 'cannelé', and was used on a range of Sèvres teaware shapes from 1754. The fluted sugar bowl was first introduced in 1764, so represents the latest fashion.

The set was probably put together by a luxury goods merchant, or marchand-mercier. The merchant would have ordered the veneered box, lined with watered silk, and probably bought the porcelain directly from Sèvres. The slop bowl, which would have been used for the dregs from cups, is very unusual in a French tea service of this date, and suggests the set may have been put together with its English client in mind.

Physical description

Travelling or presentation case, of oak with tulipwood (dalbergia frutescens) parquetry in a chevron pattern, a hinged lid and two brass handles, one of which is a replacement and is incised '2012'. The whole fitted interior is lined with watered green silk edged with metallic braid trimmings. The cushioning inside the lid is probably padded with lambswool, and impressions left by the box's contents are visible in the silk. There are ten integral holders cut into the thin oak board of the interior base, the protruding parts stiffened with carton and covered with silk and metallic braiding. Removable parts include six cup holders and a holder for the three-legged jug, which sits inside the slop bowl; all are made from silk- and braid-covered carton. Inside the cushioned lid is a contemporary paper label inscribed 'David Garrick's'. A brass plate on the front of the lid reads 'Tea Service of Sevres in a Box/ THE PROPERTY OF DAVID GARRICK/ BOUGHT BY MISS BURDETT-COUTTS AT THE SALE/ AT HIS HOUSE ON HIS WIDOW'S DEATH'.

Place of Origin

Paris (probably, manufactured)

Date

ca. 1761 - 1764 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Oak with tulipwood parquetry, brass fixings, with silk and metal braid interior and paper labels

Marks and inscriptions

'David Garrick's'
Handwritten in ink on a paper label on the inside lid

'Tea Service of Sevres in a Box/ THE PROPERTY OF DAVID GARRICK/ BOUGHT BY MISS BURDETT-COUTTS AT THE SALE/ AT HIS HOUSE ON HIS WIDOW'S DEATH'
On brass plate

'2012'
Incised on replacement brass handle

Dimensions

Height: 18 cm, Width: 49.5 cm, Depth: 44 cm

Object history note

Due to an illness during the return journey of his European tour, David Garrick remained in Paris from late August or early September 1764 until his departure and return to London in April 1765. He likely ordered his tea service during that time, probably from a marchand-mercier.

Descriptive line

Travelling case, oak with tulipwood parquetry, lined with watered green silk and with brass fixings, made for a Sèvres porcelain tea service, probably Paris, 1761-64

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

Carola Oman, David Garrick (Hodder & Stoughton, 1958), p. 256.

Labels and date

Tea set in travelling case
1764–65

This tea set, probably assembled by a Parisian merchant, was owned by the English actor, playwright and theatre manager David Garrick. The slop bowl, used for the dregs from cups, was very unusual in French tea services, suggesting the set may have been put together specifically for its English owner. It was made from a combination of old stock and new shapes with the same decoration.

France (Paris)
Made at the Sèvres factory
Porcelain painted with enamels and gilded
Case: oak veneered with tulipwood; watered silk lining
Purchased with funds from the Captain H.B. Murray Bequest and with the support of the V&A Director’s Circle [09/12/2015]

Materials

Oak; Tulip-wood; Silk; Braid; Textile; Brass; Paper

Techniques

Veneered; Hinged; Lined; Woven; Glued; Cast

Categories

Ceramics; Drinking; Entertainment & Leisure; Food vessels & Tableware; Porcelain; Shopping; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; Textiles; Theatre; Tourism & Travel

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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