Teapot thumbnail 1
Teapot thumbnail 2
+8
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 71, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries

Teapot

1756-62 (made), 1737 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The present teapot was part of one of the most lavish royal gifts of the eighteenth-century: a magnificent tea and chocolate porcelain service, which included over 40 pieces and was presented in 1737 by Augustus III, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, to Maria Leszczyńska, wife of Louis XV, King of France. Such a gesture probably intended to improve diplomatic relations between Saxony and the French Court.

Made of Meissen porcelain, this teapot was later mounted by a leading Parisian goldsmith. It prominently carries the arms of France and Poland and is decorated with harbour scenes, like all the surviving pieces of the service. Its prestigious provenance appealed to Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde, who formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Sir Arthur donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.


object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Porcelain and engraved silver-gilt
Brief Description
Meissen teapot and cover, silver-gilt and porcelain, Eloy Brichard, 1747.
Physical Description
Porcelain teapot and cover made by the Meissen porcelain factory in silver-gilt mounts. Royal armorial teapot and cover with the Arms of France and Poland, painted in the manner of B.G. Hauer: with a continuous harbour scene; merchants camping on quaysides among barrels and packages; figures unloading a galleon before distant buildings; and shipping. Each side of the body has the crowned arms. Wishbone handle with shell thumbpiece and bird's head spout are silver-gilt, the cover similarly decorated with pine-cone finial (restoration to tip of spout, very minor rubbing to gilding).
Dimensions
  • Height: 11.6cm
  • Length: 20cm
  • Width: 10cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • blue crossed swords: Dreher's 00, circa 1737 (for the Meissen porcelain factory)
  • decharge of Eloy Brichard, 1756-62 (on the silver-gilt mounts)
Gallery Label
(Gallery 71, case 1) 7. Meissen teapot and cover Porcelain, about 1737. Mounts, 1756–62 This teapot belonged to a service presented by Augustus III (1696–1763), King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, to Maria Leszczyn´ska (1703–68), Queen of France. The personal gift was part of Augustus’s campaign to improve the political relations between France and Saxony following the ousting of Maria’s father Stanislav as Polish king in favour of Augustus. Porcelain: Meissen porcelain factory, Germany. Mounts: Paris, France, Eloy Brichard Enamel-painted porcelainn, gilded silver Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.875-2008(16/11/2016)
Credit line
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Object history
From the service presented by Augustus III, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony to Maria Leszczynska, Queen of France possibly in 1737. Maria Leszynska (1707-1768) was married to Louis XV of France in 1725 and the daughter of the Polish monarch King Stanislaus Leszczynski - the chief rival of Augustus the Strong and his successor August III for the throne of Poland.



Provenance

Acquired by Arthur Gilbert from S.J. Phillips Ltd, London, 1994.
Production
Mounts: Paris decharge mark of Eloy Brichard, 1756-62; porcelain: Meissen porcelain factory, 1737
Summary
The present teapot was part of one of the most lavish royal gifts of the eighteenth-century: a magnificent tea and chocolate porcelain service, which included over 40 pieces and was presented in 1737 by Augustus III, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, to Maria Leszczyńska, wife of Louis XV, King of France. Such a gesture probably intended to improve diplomatic relations between Saxony and the French Court.



Made of Meissen porcelain, this teapot was later mounted by a leading Parisian goldsmith. It prominently carries the arms of France and Poland and is decorated with harbour scenes, like all the surviving pieces of the service. Its prestigious provenance appealed to Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde, who formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Sir Arthur donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Bibliographic References
  • Boltz, Claus. Ein Präsent für die Königin von Frankreich. Keramik-Freunde der Schweiz, 1980, no. 94.
  • Cassidy-Geiger, Maureen, ed. Fragile Diplomacy. Meissen Porcelain for European Courts between 1710-63. Exhibition catalogue published for the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture, New York, by Yale University Press, 2007, p. 155, fig. 7-21.
  • pp. 74-75Hou Seng, Chan eds. Taste and Essence: Historical Tea Pieces from the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Artron Art Group: Beijing, 2013. ISBN 9789996502019.
Other Numbers
  • SG295 - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • 1996.717 - The Gilbert Collection, Somerset House
Collection
Accession Number
LOAN:GILBERT.875-2008

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record createdSeptember 4, 2008
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