Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 122

'Coupe Limoges and Cover'

Covered Cup
ca. 1858 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This coupe or tazza (footed bowl) and its cover were made entirely for show. Renaissance Revival forms and decoration suggested that the owner was a person of education and taste, and this imitation of French Renaissance enamels, an example of Minton's advanced technology, would impress guests as evidence of superior understanding. It was modelled closley on original examples which the designer could have seen in the Museum's collections. Renaissance Revival design was increasingly popular during the mid-19th century, not least as a result of the teaching in design schools, headed by that at South Kensington.

Design & Designing
Minton's art director, Léon Arnoux (1816-1902), was interested in design and ceramic technology of many periods and cultures. In the late 18th century and the 19th French Renaissance wares became increasingly popular among collectors and museums in France and Britain. Studying actual examples in the South Kensington Museum, private collections and printed design sources, Minton's Limoges enamel style ceramics successfully captured the flavour of the originals. Some were precise copies of work by enamellists such as Pierre Reymond and Jean de Court, while others simply used Limoges-style motifs. This example was known as 'Coupe Limoges and Cover' in the factory's records, ornament design number 692. The Sèvres tazza and cover in the style of Pierre Reymond in the Museum's collections (museum no. 4756-1858) is of a similar but not identical form to the Minton coupe.

Materials & Making
While the enamels made in the Limoges area, and elsewhere, were painted in enamels onto copper, the Minton copies were entirely ceramic. On an earthenware or bone china body, the ornament was painted in raised layers of bone china paste on a dark blue or brown ground and highly glazed. It was very specialised work, undertaken by some of Minton's most skilled artists. Time-consuming and therefore expensive, the production was small and made only between about 1855 and 1875.

People
Léon Arnoux was art director at Minton from about 1849 until his death. After leaving Paris in1848 as political unrest escalated, he travelled around the Staffordshire potteries and was employed by Herbert Minton, of Stoke-on-Trent. Through Minton he became a friend of Henry Cole (1808-1882), first Director of the South Kensington Museum (which later became the V&A). Arnoux was a designer and chemist and was deeply interested in all branches of the ceramic arts and their history. His contribution to Minton's success at international exhibitions and in their art production especially cannot be overestimated. He was responsible for improvements to the ceramic body, the ovens, the colours and glazes, and he introduced majolica, Limoges enamel wares, Henry II wares and other Minton specialities. Almost nothing is known of Stephen Lawton, the painter who signed this coupe, except that he worked for Minton between about 1850 and 1860.



object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Cups
  • Cover
Materials and Techniques
Bone china, painted in enamels and gilded
Brief Description
Cup and cover, bone china, painted in the style of a sixteenth-century Limoges painted enamel tazza on copper.
Physical Description
Covered cup of bone china painted with grotesques, term figures, foliage, festoons and scrollwork in the manner of a French Renaissance tazza painted on copper from Limoges. The cover is domed with an onion-shaped knop and the stepped-profile tazza bowl is supported by an urn-shaped stem on a domed foot. The form resembles Limoges tazze made by the Jean Court dit Vigier and Pierre Reymond workshops and Limoges enamelling revival forms made by Sevres in 1850s. Signed 'SL' for Stephen Lawton, painter, and gilded.
Dimensions
  • Height: 25.5cm
  • Width: 18.7cm
  • Base diameter: 11.2cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 02/01/2001 by terry
Marks and Inscriptions
Mark: 'Minton & Co Stoke upon Trent' and signed 'SL' ('SL' are the initials of the painter, Stephen Lawton.)
Gallery Label
  • British Galleries: Interest in the work of French, as well as Italian Renaissance masters was widespread in the 19th century. The shape and painted decoration of this dish are fairly free interpretations of 16th-century Limoges enamels from France. The decoration includes Renaissance-style motifs such as the swags of fruit and flowers.(27/03/2003)
  • Tazza and cover ''Coupe Limoges and Cover'' Painted by Stephen Lawton, made by Minton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, about 1858 Mark: Minton & Co Stoke upon Trent SL', painted Bone china, painted in enamels 4773&A-1858 Based on Limoges models by Pierre Reymond. See also related drawings (Minton archive?) and 4756-1858. Minton exbn. cat. no G2(23/05/2008)
Object history
Painted by Stephen Lawton (active about 1850-1860); made by Minton & Co., Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
This coupe or tazza (footed bowl) and its cover were made entirely for show. Renaissance Revival forms and decoration suggested that the owner was a person of education and taste, and this imitation of French Renaissance enamels, an example of Minton's advanced technology, would impress guests as evidence of superior understanding. It was modelled closley on original examples which the designer could have seen in the Museum's collections. Renaissance Revival design was increasingly popular during the mid-19th century, not least as a result of the teaching in design schools, headed by that at South Kensington.

Design & Designing
Minton's art director, Léon Arnoux (1816-1902), was interested in design and ceramic technology of many periods and cultures. In the late 18th century and the 19th French Renaissance wares became increasingly popular among collectors and museums in France and Britain. Studying actual examples in the South Kensington Museum, private collections and printed design sources, Minton's Limoges enamel style ceramics successfully captured the flavour of the originals. Some were precise copies of work by enamellists such as Pierre Reymond and Jean de Court, while others simply used Limoges-style motifs. This example was known as 'Coupe Limoges and Cover' in the factory's records, ornament design number 692. The Sèvres tazza and cover in the style of Pierre Reymond in the Museum's collections (museum no. 4756-1858) is of a similar but not identical form to the Minton coupe.


Materials & Making
While the enamels made in the Limoges area, and elsewhere, were painted in enamels onto copper, the Minton copies were entirely ceramic. On an earthenware or bone china body, the ornament was painted in raised layers of bone china paste on a dark blue or brown ground and highly glazed. It was very specialised work, undertaken by some of Minton's most skilled artists. Time-consuming and therefore expensive, the production was small and made only between about 1855 and 1875.

People
Léon Arnoux was art director at Minton from about 1849 until his death. After leaving Paris in1848 as political unrest escalated, he travelled around the Staffordshire potteries and was employed by Herbert Minton, of Stoke-on-Trent. Through Minton he became a friend of Henry Cole (1808-1882), first Director of the South Kensington Museum (which later became the V&A). Arnoux was a designer and chemist and was deeply interested in all branches of the ceramic arts and their history. His contribution to Minton's success at international exhibitions and in their art production especially cannot be overestimated. He was responsible for improvements to the ceramic body, the ovens, the colours and glazes, and he introduced majolica, Limoges enamel wares, Henry II wares and other Minton specialities. Almost nothing is known of Stephen Lawton, the painter who signed this coupe, except that he worked for Minton between about 1850 and 1860.

Associated Object
6933-1860 (Object)
Bibliographic Reference
See Object Information file in Ceramics and Glass Section office.
Collection
Accession Number
4773&A-1858

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL