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Gobelet litron et soucoupe: C.193 & A-1918

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Gobelet litron et soucoupe


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Painter: Descoins, Françoise-Philippine (Probably)




Soft-paste porcelain cup and saucer, painted in enamels with an oval medallion containing a floral L, with sprays of flowers, and gilded edges.

Soft-paste porcelain painted in blue, green, yellow, pink, and purple enamels, and gilded. Cylindrical cup with double-curved handle. Circular saucer with flat central area, sloping sides, and a suspension hole in the footrim. The cup is decorated on the front with a script L made up of purple flowers and green leaves enclosed by a blue and gold oval frame tied with a bow of pink ribbon at the top, and resting on sprays of yellow and dark pink flowers and leaves at the bottom. On each side there are four small sprays of flowers and leaves. There is a dentilated gold band round the rim, a plain band round the foot, and lines of gold down the sides of the handle, which also has a gold stylised leaves and spots down its back. The saucer has a rose spray in the centre surrouned by a garland of yellow flowers and green leaves. The remainder of the central area, and the sides are scattered with small sprays of flowers and leaves, including rose, violet and cornflower, and a yellow flower. A dentilated gold band encircles the rim.


History note: Unknown before donor, Ralph Hare Griffin (

Legal notes

Given by Ralph Griffin, MA, FSA

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1918) by Griffin, Ralph


18th Century, Late
Louis XVI
Circa 1787 CE - Circa 1788 CE


Cups decorated with initials were a new venture initiated by the comte d’Angiviller in the summer of 1784, after he had seen Clignancourt cups decorated in this way. Between then and 1789 over 1000 were produced. Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue cites over 80 in 1784, over 400 in 1785,nearly 500 in 1786, about 160 in 1787 and fewer than 20 in 1788. (See Documentation, Bellaigue, 1980).

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 a few years.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 second size with Savill's handle B. This size was usually supplied separately rather than in a tea set.

The painting was formerly attributed to Jean-Pierre Fumez, but his mark was fz. The mark fx was used by Mme Françoise-Philippine (née Le Grand), a flower painter working at Sèvres, ? 1780-99 ? (See Documentation, Peters, 1997).The incised mark, 44, occus mainly on saucers and cups from the 1760s to 1790s

School or Style

Louis XVI

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( blue, green, yellow, pink, and purple) gold
Saucer Diameter 13.5 cm Height 3.4 cm
Cup Rim Diameter 6.7 cm
Cup Height 6.8 cm
Cup Including Handle Width 9.2 cm

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 44
  • Location: On base of cup
  • Method of creation: Incised underglaze
  • Type: Incised mark
  • Text: 46
  • Location: On the base of saucer
  • Method of creation: Incised underglaze
  • Type: Incised mark
  • Text: interlaced Ls enclosing KK
  • Location: On base of cup and saucer
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: fx
  • Location: On baseof cup and saucer below the factory mark and date
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Painter's mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.193 & A-1918
Primary reference Number: 86619
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 13 January 2021 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Gobelet litron et soucoupe" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-16 07:29:57

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