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Sugar bowl and cover - Pot a sucre Hebert

Pot a sucre Hebert

  • Object:

    Sugar bowl and cover

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1761 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 2a, case CA2

This sugar bowl is part of a delightful Sèvres porcelain tea service or déjeuner,made in 1761. The matching items in the service are all decorated with the fashionable pink ground colour rose, and the white reserves have fanciful military trophies hung with triumphal garlands of flowers. Although the mark of the painter Charles Buteux the elder appears on the underside of only one cup and saucer in the set, it is probable he was responsible for the decoration of all the pieces as he specialised in painting trophies. This set is an early example of his trophy painting as during the first years following his arrival in 1757, he experimented with painting animals and cherubs before finding a subject that suited him. The tray on which all the service items sit was new in 1761 as the shape had only been introduced in the preceding year. It is thought the tray shape matches entries in the Sèvres records for plateau Duplessis after the chief designer at the factory, Jean-Claude Duplessis. Its undulating profile and the light-hearted decoration of all the pieces with their rich colours and densely scrolling gilded borders, make this tea service a typical example of the French rococo style. It may seem strange that there is no teapot here to match the other pieces however this was not unusual at the time as silver teapots on burners were often used to boil water for tea.

In the nineteenth century when John Jones bought this set he may have thought it had previously been owned by the mistress of Louis XV, Mme de Pompadour, or by the mistress of Louis XVI, Mme du Barry as this pink ground colour was routinely described as Rose Dubarry or Rose Pompadour by English dealers. The service is too early in date to have any connection to Mme du Barry and there is no evidence to suggest that either lady favoured this colour over the other rich ground colours used at Sèvres. On the death of Mme de Pompadour in 1764, porcelain of all colours was recorded in the inventory of her properties. The service is one of the many wonderful things in the art collection bequeathed to the nation by John Jones on his death in 1882.

Physical description

Sugar bowl and cover, soft-paste porcelain, sinuous sides, decorated with trophies painted in enamels and with gilding on a pink ground. Lid with floral knop.

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1761 (made)


Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 6.4 cm, Diameter: 7.9 cm

Object history note

John Jones Bequest, Cat. no.119.

Descriptive line

Sugar bowl and cover, decorated with trophies painted in enamels, Sèvres porcelain factory, France, about 1761

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

Garnier, Édouard. La porcelaine tendre de Sèvres, Paris, Maison Quintan, 1891. This déjeuner is illustrated plate XVIII with one cup and saucer only (768C and D-1882).


Soft-paste porcelain

Subjects depicted

Trophies; Flowers


Ceramics; Porcelain; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares


Ceramics Collection

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