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Cup and saucer - (Tasse) Gobelet Hebert
  • (Tasse) Gobelet Hebert
    Vielliard, André-Vincent père
  • Enlarge image

(Tasse) Gobelet Hebert

  • Object:

    Cup and saucer

  • Place of origin:

    Sèvres (made)

  • Date:

    1766 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vielliard, André-Vincent père (painter)
    Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft-paste porcelain painted with enamels and gilded

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr John George Joicey

  • Museum number:

    C.1400&A-1919

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case CA13 []

Tea drinking never became as fashionable in France as in other European countries. But the practice existed at an aristocratic level as an alternative to the usual coffee and chocolate. So-called cabaret sets or déjeuners consisted of complete services on a tray for just one or two people. The Vincennes/Sèvres factory gave them the most luxurious treatment, since its patrons were the wealthiest members of French society.

This is an example of the smallest type of tea set made by the factory, a déjeuner carré, and comprises a single cup and saucer on a square tray with pierced sides. Individual tea sets first appear in the factory records in 1755, and the sales records (most of which have miraculously survived) prove that the purchasers were often the most important members of the court, including the King and his mistress the Madame de Pompadour. This example has extremely unusual ground decoration comprising different shapes painted in relief, scattered like confetti on a background of gilded dots. Some shapes appear to be abstract, but others clearly depict objects including a butterfly, a jug, a heart, a bottle, dividers etc. It is possible this decoration was inspired by richly jewelled material, enamels or confectionary. The reserves were painted by the decorator André-Vincent Vielliard. While the tray has gardening implements, the cup and saucer have different implements needed to make and serve tea, coffee and chocolate. On the saucer, Vielliard has included in a group of porcelain and a coffee-grinder next to a tall pointed object. This is a sugar loaf, the standard way sugar was bought in the 18th century, partially wrapped in its traditional blue paper. The sugar is the costly refined white type.

Physical description

Cup and saucer, probably for coffee, of soft-paste porcelain painted with enamels and gilded. Each with a panel with a garden scene showing the preparation of coffee. The ground outside the panel is painted pink dotted with gold and covered with a confetti of crescents, beans, stars, set square and other emblems. Openwork rim.

Place of Origin

Sèvres (made)

Date

1766 (made)

Artist/maker

Vielliard, André-Vincent père (painter)
Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Soft-paste porcelain painted with enamels and gilded

Marks and inscriptions

Interlaced 'L's with date letter 'n' and one dot below
Maker's mark in blue enamel

A label
Painter's mark in blue enamel for André-Vincent Vielliard

'L9.'
Incised

Dimensions

Height: 2¾ in Cup imperial measurement from register, Diameter: 3 in Cup imperial measurement from register, Diameter: 5¼ in Saucer imperial measurement from register

Descriptive line

Cup and saucer of soft-paste porcelain painted with enamels and gilded, painted by Vielliard, Sèvres porcelain factory, Sèvres, 1766.

Labels and date

Cup, saucer and tray
1766

The saucer shows the preparation of coffee. A copper pot is being heated over a brazier with the aid of bellows. To the right are a coffee grinder, a sugar loaf and a porcelain jar, sugar bowl, cup and saucer. No milk jug is shown: both coffee and tea could be taken black or served with hot or cold milk.

France (Paris)
Made at the Sèvres factory
Porcelain painted in enamels and gilded
Bequeathed by Mr John George Joicey
[09/12/2015]

Materials

Soft paste porcelain

Techniques

Painted; Gilded

Subjects depicted

Garden tools; Garden; Saucers; Cups; Openwork

Categories

Ceramics; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; Porcelain

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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