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Gobelet litron et soucoupe: C.3 & A-1951

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Gobelet litron et soucoupe


Factory: Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory (Uncertain)
Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory (Uncertain)




Soft-paste porcelain cup and saucer, decorated in underglaze blue, polychrome enamels and gilding, with wavy diagonal stripes and sprays of flowers.

Soft-paste porcelain thrown, decorated with underglaze blue (bleu lapis) and overglaze green ground colours, painting in blue, greyish-green, yellow, dark pink, and brownish-orange enamels and gilding. Cylindrical cup with loop handle. Circular saucer with flat central area, deep sloping sides, and a suspension hole in the footring. The cup is striped with wavy diagonal green and dark blue (bleu lapis) ribbons, edged with gold lines and dots, alternating with reserved white stripes, each decorated sprays of polychrome flowers. There is a band of gilding round the base and a dentilated band round the rim. There are gold lines down the sides of the handle and a leaf, and teardrops of graduated size down its back. The saucer is striped en suite with the cup, but has two sprays of flowers on each white stripe. The ribbons run across the saucer from side to side, curving on two sides to form arcs. There is a dentilated gold band round the rim.


History note: H.E. Backer, 1 Elm Tree Road, St John's Wood, London, NW8 from whom purchased for £35 by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Place(s) associated

  • Vincennes ⪼ Val-de-Marne ⪼ France
  • Sèvres ⪼ Île-de France ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1951-01-06) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


18th Century, Mid#
Louis XV
Circa 1755 CE - Circa 1756 CE


The gobelet litron was named after a cubic measure, the litron, which was normally made of wood, and was used for dry stuffs, such as corn and peas. Its size in Paris had been defined in 1670 as the equivalent of 9.45 cm high and 10.15 cm in diameter in pouces and lignes, which was larger than the largest of the porcelain cups. The first size of gobelet litron had been introduced at Vincennes before October 1752 when it was mentioned in an inventory of stock, but was probably being made earlier judging by white examples with simple floral decoration .The second and third sizes followed in 1753, and the fourth and fifth in 1757. They could be fitted with one of seven different handle forms . A drawing in the archives at Sèvres is dated 19 February 1753 (MNS, R1, liasse 2, dossier 2, No. 6bis) They were supplied singly, singly with a plateau carré, in ’harlequin’ sets, or as part of matching dejeuner. (See Documentation, Bellaigue 2009, Savill, 1988).

This is a gobelet litron of the third size with Savill's handle shape B. It was accessioned as Vincennes, but as green grounds were not introduced until 1756 and it is unlikely that this combination of blue and green would have been executed before the factory moved to Sèvres in the autumn, and in fact, the decoration may have been executed much later. Variants of this slanting diagonal ribbon and floral stripe design were fashionable between 1756 to 1759 especially with green ribbons, but also with bleu lapis, and rose. See C.2 & A-1948 a teapot with diagonal ribbons and flowers.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( blue, green, yellow dark pink, and brownish-orange) ground colour ( underglaze blue; overglaze green) gold
Saucer Diameter 12.1 cm Height 3 cm
Cup Rim Diameter 5.8 cm
Cup Height 6.1 cm
Cup Including Handle Width 7.8 cm

Materials used in production

Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Soft-paste porcelain, thrown, lead-glazed decorated in underglaze blue, in blue, green, yellow dark pink, and brownish-orange enamels and gilding.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: interlaced Ls
  • Location: On base of cup
  • Method of creation: In blue enamel
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: interlaced Ls with feathering
  • Location: On base of saucer
  • Method of creation: In blue enamel
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: illegible

  • Location: On base of cup
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark

Inscription present: indistinct

  • Text: /uc
  • Location: On base of saucer
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3 & A-1951
Primary reference Number: 82563
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 29 November 2022 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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