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La Fête au Château: C.11-1947

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


La Fête au Château
Translated as: The Fête at the Château
La Fidélité


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Modeller: Falconet, Etienne Maurice




Soft-paste biscuit group of a young woman seated on a rock and a young man standing on her left who is about to embrace her.

Soft-paste biscuit porcelain, press-moulded. A young woman, Colette is seated on a rock on an irregularly-shaped low mound base, with a vase of flowers on her right. She turns her head to her left, gazing adoringly at a young gardener, Jacquot, who stands with his left knee resting on the rock, leaning towards her and placing his right arm on her back, and taking her left hand in his, as if about to embrace her. His hat lies on the ground in front of him.


History note: Uncertain before Mrs W.D. (Frances Louisa) Dickson

Legal notes

Given by Mrs W.D. Dickson

Measurements and weight

Height: 20.1 cm
Width: 15.9 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1947-09) by Dickson, W. D. (Frances Louisa), Mrs


18th Century
Louis XV
Circa 1767 CE - 1780 CE


Etienne -Maurice Falconnet was director of the sculpture department of the Sèvres factory between July 1757 and September 1766. This group was modelled in 1766 and put into production in 1767 under the direction of Jean-Jacques Bachelier, his successor as director of the sculpture workshop between 1766 and 1773. The terre cuite (terracotta) model is preserved in the Musée national de Céramique, Sèvres (MNC 7737). The group shows a gardener, Jacquot, and his lover Colette from a play, 'La Fête au Château' by Charles-Simon Favart or his wife, which was commissioned by Mme de Mauconseil to celebrate the recovery of her daughter after an illness. The premier took place at the Villa de Bagatelle before the old king of Poland, Stanislas. The play was performed four times at Versailles and once at the Trianon, and entered the repertoire of the Théâtre-Italien on 25 September 1766. The first biscuit group sold cost 144 livres (AMNS, Vy4, fo 135). The group was often sold paired with another, 'La fée Urgèle', the title of an opéra comique with libretto by Favart. This particular group is marked with an incised B which may be that of Bachelier, but could be interpreted as the Bo mark of his successor, Louis-Simon Boizot between 1775-70.

Unglazed biscuit porcelain was introduced at Vincennes from 1751, and production continued after the factory moved in Sèvres in the late summer of 1756. The figures or groups were in sections in two-part plaster of Paris moulds cast from the model, and on removal from the moulds , the sections were joined together with slip before firing.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

biscuit Soft-paste biscuit porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Soft-paste porcelain, press-moulded in parts, assembled and fired

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 14
  • Location: On front of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark

Inscription present: script

  • Text: B or Bo
  • Location: On front of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.11-1947
Primary reference Number: 93486
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 5 January 2021 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "La Fête au Château" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-28 13:20:56

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{{cite web|url= |title=La Fête au Château |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-09-28 13:20:56|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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