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Gobelet litron et soucoupe: C.194 & A-1918

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Gobelet litron et soucoupe


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Painter: Noualher, Antoinette-Marie




Soft-paste porcelain painted in enamels with a garden scene incorporating a jar with the letter C, sprays of flowers, and gilding.

Soft-paste porcelain painted in blue, green, yellow, maroon, pale purple, brown, and grey enamels, and gilded. Cylindrical cup with double curved handle. Circular saucer with a flat centre, deep sloping side, and a suspension hole in the footrim. The front of the cup is painted in polychrome with a tall, narrow-necked jar, standing on grass with a wheelbarrow and trees behind, and a basket of grapes and apples on the right. On the jar is a letter C made up of small blue flowers. On each side there are three diagonally placed sprays of alternately yellow and blue flowers. Above and below there are maroon bands entwined with curving gold lines. There is a dentilated gold band round the rim, a plain gold band round the foot, and gold lines down the sides of the handle, which also has stylised gold leaves alternating with spots down its back. The saucer is decorated with a posy of blue flowers with green leaves, surrounded by a dark crimson band entwined with curved gold lines. The sides are decorated with diagonally placed sprays of alternately yellow and blue flowers, with above a dark crimson band entwined with curved gold lines. The rim is encircled by a dentilated gold band.


History note: Unknown before donor, Ralph Hare Griffin, MA, FSA

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
Production date: AD 1787 : Both pieces bear the date letter for 1787


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 earlier.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, Savill, 1988, Bellaigue 2009) This is a gobelet litron of the second size with Savill's handle B.

The incised mark on the cup, 41, is recorded on cups and saucers in the 1780s and 1790s, and on two vases of 1779 and 1780 respectively. It also occurs on C.56-1961, a cup of 1784, also on a saucer of 1780 in the Royal Collection

The painter's mark does not occur in MS Vj’2 but has been deduced from payments in the Artistis Lists of payments as that of Mme Antoinette-Marie Noualher (née Huet) , working from c. 1762-98. An almost similar mark was used by her daughter from c. 1790-98, and possibly earlier in the late 1780s, who about 1796 became Mme Weydinger.

School or Style

Louis XVI

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( blue, green, yellow, maroon and pale purple) gold
Saucer Diameter 13.5 cm Height 3 cm
Cup Rim Diameter 6.6 cm
Cup Height 6.8 cm
Cup Including Handle Width 9.1 cm

Materials used in production

Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: interlaced Ls enclosing KK
  • Location: On base of cup and saucer
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: V.
  • Location: On base of kup and saucer
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Painter's mark

Inscription present: 41 with the 1 slanting to the right

  • Text: 41
  • Location: On base of cup
  • Method of creation: Incised underglaze
  • Type: Incised mark

Inscription present: 3 a dash, longer than shown above, 1 slanting, possibly 31 or 37

  • Text: 3-1 or 37
  • Location: On base of saucer
  • Method of creation: Incised underglaze
  • Type: Incised mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.194 & A-1918
Primary reference Number: 86623
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

Citation for print

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