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Pot à lait à trois pieds: C.4-1951

An image of Milk jug

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Pot à lait à trois pieds
Translated as: Milk jug with three feet


Factory: Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory
Painter: Pajou, Augustin




Soft-paste porcelain milk jug, with sprays of flowers and leaves in relief, painted in crimson enamel with a putto wearing a garland, and gilded

Soft-paste porcelain, with moulded handle and feet, and applied reliefs, decorated with painting in crimson enamel (camaieu pourpre) and gilding. The jug stands on three crabstock feet. The bulbous body contracts at the neck and then flares upwards and outwards at the front to form a lip; the sides of the rim are notched and slightly everted. The crabstock handle rises from the rim and curves outwards and then downwards and inwards to rejoin the body at the most bulbous point. Sprays of flowers and leaves in relief sprout from the junctions of the handle and legs with the body. Under the lip, painted in crimson monochrome (camaieu pourpre), there is a putto wearing a garland, who sits on a drapery on top of a voluminous cloud. To his right, on the side of the jug, there is a floral spray and to his left, a flying bird holding a branch in its beak. The feet, handle, and relief ornament are outlined in gold, and there is a dentilated gold band round the lip.


History note: Uncertain before H. E. Backer, London

Legal notes

Given by H.E. Backer

Measurements and weight

Height: 12.1 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1951) by Backer, H.E.


18th Century, Mid#
Louis XV
Circa 1754 CE - Circa 1755 CE


Augustin Pajou worked at the factory from 1750-60

Rose camaieu, a rather dark pink sometimes approaching crimson or puce in colour, was particularly fashionable from 1752 to 56, appearing on teawares, obects for personal use, and vases. Putti or cherubs after Boucher or in the manner of Boucher, described as 'Enfans camayeux' were one of the most popular types of decoration. An example of the first size with this type of decoration was sold on 28 November 1755 for 30 livres (about 23-25 livres to the £ sterling in mid-18th century).

This form inspired by silver milk jugs was in production at Vincennes by October 1752 when the inventory of the factory's stock mentioned ‘1 petit pot au lait à 3 pieds’ was listed among the biscuit pieces awaiting firing (Ėtat des Pièces de Porcelaines trouvé en Biscuit lors de l’inventaire des Effets remis par Charles Adam à Eloy Brichard le 18 8br 1752 (Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France, MS 5673, p. 1v), A second size was mentioned in the record of a glaze firing on 19 March 1753, and a third size was added in 1756. This is the first size and largest size which ranged between 11.3 and 12.9 cm high. This size was often sold on its own, as opposed to in a set, which was more usual for the smaller sizes.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( crimson) gold

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Soft-paste porcelain, with moulded handle and feet, decorated with painting in crimson enamel (camaieu pourpre), and gilding

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: interlaced Ls enclosing B

  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: an eye
  • Location: On base above the factory mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Painter's mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.4-1951
Primary reference Number: 82565
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 August 2016 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Pot à lait à trois pieds" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-21 07:51:32

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