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Saucière à deux becs: C.63-1961

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Saucière à deux becs


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Gilder: Le Guay, Etienne-Henry (Uncertain)
Painter: Bouilliat, Edme-François
Production: Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de (After)




Soft-paste porcelain sauce boat, with a bleu nouveau ground, painted with an exotic bird at each end in enamels, and gilded.

Soft-paste porcelain, moulded, decorated with a royal blue (beau bleu) ground, painting in greyish-turquoise, shades of green, yellow, dark pink, mauve, brown, grey, and black enamels, and gilding. Of elongated oval shape with a lip at each end, standing on a footring. In the middle of each side there is a double-entwined handle wth stylised leaves projecting at the top of the handle and leaves in relief at the junctions of the lower ends with the body. There is a suspension hole in the footring. The ground is beau bleu with at each end under the lip a pear-shaped reserve, framed by a wide and a narrow gilt band, and painted in polychrome with an exotic bird standing amid foliage, the Ortolan de Neige at one end and the Perruche de la Caroline at the other. The ground between the reserves is elaborately decorated with chased gold scrolls, stylised plant forms, and swags of flowers and foliage. There are two gilt bands round the foot with a reserved white band between, and a further gilt band a little higher up. There is a gilt band round the rim, sprays of flowers and foliage on the interior of the body at the junctions of the handles, lines of gilding down the sides of the handles and sprays of foliage down their backs. On the base, inscribed in blue enamel above the mark 'L'Ortolan,/de Neige.' and below the mark, 'Perruche/de la/Caroline.'


History note: A member of the Sudell family, probably Henry Sudell of Ashley House, Box, Wiltshire; probably sold Christie's, London, 27 June 1889, Catalogue of an Old Sèvres Service, Oriental, Dresden & English Porcelain and Decorative Furniture, from Gatton Park, formerly the Property of the Rt Hon. Frederick John Lord Monson . . ., one of eight sauceboats lots 74-77, or from two later sales, Christie's, London, 17 July 1895, lot 118, two saucières; or 23 April 1913, lot 35, two saucières.

Legal notes

Louis C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960

Measurements and weight

Height: 9.2 cm
Length: 23.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1960-04-27) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


18th Century, Late
Louis XVI
1792 CE - Before 1793 CE


The earliest Sèvres ornithological services was made for Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond (1735-1806) , the British ambassador to France in 1765-6.

The form was derived from silver sauceboats. Saucière à deux becs appear in the factory inventory of 1756. This was probably one of twelve saucières et plats (the latter missing) included in a dinner and dessert service delivered to J. Lanos and Jean-Fréderic Perregaux of Paris acting for an Englishman, Sudell, possibly Henry Sudell of Ashley House, Box, Wiltshire. The Sudell coat-of-arms was incorporated into the decoration, of the service, but does not appear on this piece. Although the sale was recorded in the factory's records as 31 December 1792 the service does not appear to have been delivered before 7 May 1793 or possibly earlier 7 March 1793. The plate design for the service, no. 140 in the factory's Album of Plate Designs, is entitled 'Oiseaux d'apres la Collection de M Buffon, et le nom de l'oiseau inscrit dessous les pieces. livré 7 Mai 1793/[or 7 Mars 1793]'. For a detailed account of its components and manufacture, see Peters, 2005, vol. IV, p. 1003-5.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( greysh-turquoise, shades of green, yellow, dark pink, mauve, brown, grey, and black) ground colour ( overglaze 'beau bleu') gold

Materials used in production

Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Soft-paste porcelain. moulded, glazed, and decorated with an overglaze blue ground, reserves painted in greyish-turquoise, shades of green, yellow, dark pink, mauve, brown, grey, and black enamels, and gilding

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 14
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark
  • Text: interlaced L's with PP on the left
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: y
  • Location: On the base, on the right of the factory mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Painter's mark

Inscription present: in script letters

  • Text: LG
  • Location: On base below factory mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Gilder's mark
  • Text: L'Ortolan,/de Neige.
  • Location: On base above the mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: Peruche/de la/Caroline.
  • Location: On base below the mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.63-1961
Primary reference Number: 75708
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 5 April 2019 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Saucière à deux becs" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-17 10:00:03

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{{cite web|url= |title=Saucière à deux becs |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-17 10:00:03|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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