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Théière Calabre: C.2 & A-1948

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Théière Calabre


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Painter: Méreaud, Pierre-Antoine




Soft-paste porcelain teapot and cover, decorated in underglaze blue, polychome enamels, and gilded, with a pattern of wavy-edged diagonal ribbons alternating with sprays of flowers.

Soft-paste porcelain, thown and moulded, decorated with underglaze blue (bleu lapis), blue, two shades of green, yellow, dark pink, orange-red, purple, and grey enamels, and gilding. Ovoid body with gently curving spout and ear-shaped handle, the slightly domed cover surmounted by a knob in the shape of a flower on a stem with leaves. The pot and cover are decorated with bleu lapis scalloped ribbons edged in gold, which fall diagonally from the knob of the lid to the base of the body. The ribbons are decorated in gold with elongated scrolls, rocaille 'frills' and tendrils. The white zones between them, and the spout are decorated with sprays of polychrome flowers. The floral knob is pink with gold leaves. There are bands of gilding round the foot, round the junction of the spout and body and down the sides of the handle, which also has strokes at the top, a group of four petals, and dots of graduated sizedown the back.


History note: The Collection of the Countess of Chesterfield; sold Christie's 1886. INSERT SALE TITLE Mallet & Sons,40 New Bond Street, London W1 from whom purchased by Louis C.G. Clarke and given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam

Measurements and weight

Height: 10.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ Ile-de-France ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1948-02-24) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


18th Century, Mid#
Louis XV
Production date: AD 1757 : The teapot bears the date letter for 1757


The théière calabre was the most common teapot form made at Sèvres. It was in production by December 1752, and was being made in two sizes by 1753. Eventually there were five sizes, but these were not clearly identified by the factory. Savill (Documentation 1988) divided them into six size groups A-F, of which this example is size E about 8.9 to 10.5 cm.

This style of decoration was described as 'rubans à dentelle' or 'a rubans'. Variants of it were fashionable between 1756 and 1759 especially with green ribbons, but also with bleu lapis, and rose.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of cobalt ( bleu lapis) enamels ( blue, two shades of green, yellow, dark pink, orange-red, and grey) gold
Cover Diameter 4.5 cm
Handle-spout Length 14.1 cm
Handle And Spout

Materials used in production

Soft-paste porcelain

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: interlaced Ls enclosing E
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: above the factory mark

  • Text: S
  • Location: On base below factory mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Painter's mark

Inscription present: 'd' over a line, '4 x'

  • Text: d on one side of the base and 4/x
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark

Inscription present: entry from a sale catalogue

  • Text: '64 A small teapot, sucrier and cover; with gros-bleu and g s and flowers in colours'/ and in ink '1886 Christie's/Mérault Sen-'.
  • Location: Stuck on inside the teapot
  • Method of creation: Printed in black and hand-written
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2 & A-1948
Primary reference Number: 93537
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 5 January 2021 Last processed: Monday 18 December 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 (2024) "Théière Calabre" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-21 07:31:56

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{{cite web|url= |title=Théière Calabre |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-21 07:31:56|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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