A Soft-Paste Vincennes Porcelain Tray, 1755
Plateau à déjeuner du Roi, second size
25 cm x 17.5 cm
Interlaced Ls, date-letter B for 1755, painter’s mark a fleur de lys for Vincent Taillandier (active 1753-90).
This shape, called plateau “à déjeuner du roi”, is first recorded in 1754 and the earliest examples have the date-letter A for 1754. It was first used as a tray for a tea service, and also included in dessert services with two attached jampots.
The gilt scrolls on the edge are indicative of an early date, around 1754-55.
On 28 July 1755, Gaudin, one of the dealers who regularly bought Vincennes porcelain in the early years, purchased a “plateau à déjeuner du Roy Bleu céleste fleurs”, with a matching gobelet Bouillard and its saucer, and a pot à sucre together for 216 livres (Vy1, f. 91 v). Another set of the same description was bought on 9 December 1755 by the dealer Bazin for 240 livres (Vy1, f. 103 v), indicating probably differences in the richness of the gilding. With that mix of components it is likely that these trays were of the smaller or second size. On 9 December 1755, Machard, another dealer, bought a set with the same shape of tray and the same decoration, but with two cups and saucers, a sugar bowl and a milk jug, for 288 livres (Vy1, f. 100 r). The larger number of components suggest that that tray will have been of the larger or first size.
For examples of trays of this shape of the second size with their matching cups and sugar bowls see Wallace, Vol. II, pp. 590-595.