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Tasse à toilette et soucoupe: MAR.C.37 & A & B-1912

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Tasse à toilette et soucoupe


Factory: Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory




Soft-paste porcelain two-handled cup, cover and saucer decorated in gold with foliage, flowers and vignettes of animals and fish.

Glazed soft-paste porcelain painted in gold. The circular cup stands on a low foot and has two handles in the form of branches with leaves in relief at the junction of their lower ends with the body. The domed cover has a handle in the shape of a branch with leaves in relief at the junction of one end with the cover. The circular saucer has curved sides and a circular rib in the centre to enclose the foot of the cup. The white ground is painted in gold with trophies, vignettes of animals and fish, and with arrangements of rocaille scrolls, foliage and flowers. On the cup: (a) a spaniel chasing a duck and (b) a stag brought down by a hound. On the cover (a) a squirrel amid plants, (b) a stag couchant, (c) a posy of flowers and leaves. On the saucer: (a) in the centre, a large fish amid reeds, (b) on the sides, a trophy comprising a basket, a girl's hat, houlette tied with ribbon, and a bag; a trophy comprising a boy's hat, lyre, trumpet, and wind instrument; and a fanciful building, each supported by an arrangemens of scolls, floral sprays and foliage. The handles are gold and there are gold bands round the foot and rim of the cup, the central rim of the saucer, and the outer edges of the saucer and cover.


History note: Unknown before testator

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Place(s) associated

  • Vincennes ⪼ Val-de-Marne ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


18th Century, Mid#
Louis XV
Circa 1750 CE - 1752 CE


Small two-handled cups made in one size only were referred to in the inventory of October 1752 as' tasse à toilette' (MNS, Archives de Sèvres, E 7), where ‘9 Tasses à toilette blanches et or’ and ‘9 Soucoupes id’ described as ‘médiocre’ and priced at 9 livres were mentioned under pieces in the Magasin de Vente. A drawing so described and dated 19 February 1753 is in the factory's archives (MNS, Archives de Sèvres R 1, dossier 2, liasse 2, f. 1.). Two sets decorated in gold were sold for 30 livres each on 20 November 1752 (Vy1 fol. 1), another set on 24 May 1753 at the same price, and another, presumably less perfect on 5 June 1753 for 24 livres. (Vy1, fol. 3). Two sets decorated in gold with birds costing 48 livres each were delivered to Lazare Duvaux on 17 October 1752 (Vy1 fol. 5) and two more decorated in gold for 30 livres on 31 December 1753 (Vy 1, fol. 26v). The purpose of these small covered cups is not known. As they have a cover they were perhaps used for some kind of hot potion to be consumed while dressing.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of gold
Saucer Diameter 12.8 cm Height 3.2 cm
Across Cup Handles Diameter 9.7 cm
Cup And Cover Height 7.7 cm

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Soft-paste porcelain, thrown, with applied moulded handles, glazed, and painted in gold with tooled details

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.C.37 & A & B-1912
Primary reference Number: 82456
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 1 February 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Tasse à toilette et soucoupe" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-03-02 20:21:26

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