Pair of Sèvres gold ground Etruscan cups, 1794-95


Gobelet à anses étrusques

Two cups and saucers with a gold ground and incrusté flowers. Cup height 7.7 cm, saucer ø 16.6 cm. Marked in gold RF Sevres, painter’s mark PP for Philippe Parpette, gilder’s mark Lf. for André-Joseph La France.

This shape of cup was designed in 1786 by Louis-Simon Boizot, who was head of the sculpture workshop at Sèvres, to be made for the dairy planned for Marie-Antoinette at Rambouillet. It was inspired by antique pottery from the Denon collection which had just been bought by d’Angiviller as inspiration for Sèvres. See Selma Schwartz, “The Sèvres porcelain service for Marie-Antoinette’s dairy at Rambouillet: an exercise in archaeological neo-classicism”, The French Porcelain Society, IX, 1992.

Parpette decorated a pair of cups of this description on 8 Pluviose an II (27 January 1794): 2 gobelets et S. étrusques, fleurs pour fond d’or” (Vj5, f. 175). But since we know of two further cups and saucers identical to ours (private collection, Wiltshire) this pair is just as likely to have been part of a set of six painted by him on 26 Nivose of the next year (15 January 1795). They were accompanied by a sugar bowl (Vj6, f. 73).

One saucer with one flat chip on the rim, one small chip under the rim, and one tiny chip on the rinner rim.




Laurence Rundell