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Plate from the Empress Catherine Service: C.51-1961

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Object information

Titles

Plate from the Empress Catherine Service

Maker(s)

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory (Factory)
Dodin, Charles Nicolas (Painter)
Nicquet (Painter)
Boulanger, Jean-Pierre, père (Gilder)

Description

Soft-paste porcelain plate from the Empress Catherine Service, decorated with a bleu céleste ground, 'E II', flowers, and imitation cameos painted in enamels, and lavishly gilt

Soft-paste porcelain decorated with a turquoise (bleu céleste) ground, painting in blue, green, pink, red, and dark reddish-brown enamels, transfer-printed cameo heads painted in reddish-brown enamel, and chased gilding. Circular with a wide rim, and deep well, standing on a fooring with a suspension hole. The dish is heavy for its size. The well has a turquoise (bleu céleste) ground with a central circular reserve framed by a chased gold band. Within it is a wreath made up of branches of laurel and myrtle, tied with a gold bow at the bottom. At the top the branches meet on either side of a gold Imperial crown. Within the wreath is a large script E made up of pink and blue flowers in monogram with 'II' in gold, for Ekaterina II. The rim has white inner and outer borders decorated with small floral sprays separated by husks. Beween them is a broad turquoise band decorated with finely tooled gold foliated scrolls, interupted by three small oval reserves and three larger horizontal oval reserves, each painted en grisaille on a reddish-brown ground to imitate cameos. The small reserves enclose profile heads, respectively of a young woman, a young man, and Pan. The larger reserves enclose mythological scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses: Apollo and Daphne from Book 1; The competition between Apollo and Marsyas, and the Flaying of Marsyas from Book 6. There is a gold band round the edge, dentilated on the reverse, and a wide gold band round the outer edge of the footring.

Notes

History note: Earl of Dudley; sold Christie's, 21 May 1886, Catalogue of the Splendid Collection formed by the Right Honourable the late Earl of Dudley from the most celebrated cabinets which have been dispersed during the last fifty years which (by order of the Executors), lot 95, 108 guineas. D.M. Currie; Mrs Alistair Currie, sold Christie's, 13 June 1946, Catalogue of Old French Furniture and Sèvres Porcelain . .. p. 7,, lot 55 sold for 78 guineas to F. Partridge for L.C.G. Clarke, MA, Leckhampton, Cambridge (1881-1960).

Legal notes

L.C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 26.6 cm
Height: 4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1961-04-27) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray

Dating

Late 18th century
Louis XVI
Production date: AD/CE 1778 : the plate bears the date letter for 1778

Note

The designs for the service are in the Cabinet des Estampes de la Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, 'Dessins et devis au Service de porcelaine pour l'impératrice de Russie' (B.N., Lf 8 petit folio.)

This is one of 288 plates from a dinner and dessert service of 797 pieces made for the Empress Catherine the Great of Russia (1729-96), which was ordered in 1776, and was despatched to St Petersburg in June 1779. The service was remarkable for its immense size, and the speed with which it was made. It was the first wholly neoclassical service to be made at Sèvres, and the forms were specially designed for it, the plates for example having smooth instead of lobed rims. The use of illusionistic cameos in the decoration reflected the Empress's interest in this aspect of antique art, and innovatory techniques were used to produce them. The outlines of those on the plates were transfer-printed before painting, a technique not normally employed on Sèvres porcelain. For descriptions of the service, see Savill (1988), Dawson (1994), and Peters ( 2005, III).

School or Style

Neoclassical

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration: composed of enamels ( blue, green, pink, red, and reddish-brown) gold

Materials used in production

Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Soft-paste porcelain decorated with a turquoise (bleu céleste) ground, painted in blue, green, pink, red, and reddish-brown enamels, transfer-printed cameo heads painted in reddish-brown enamel, and chased gilding.
Lead-glazing

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 33
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Incised mark
  • Text: interlaced Ls enclosing aa
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Painted in bluish-violet enamel
  • Mark
  • Text: K
  • Location: On base above the factory mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in violet enamel
  • Painter's mark
  • Text: nq
  • Location: On base below factory mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in violet enamel
  • Painter's mark

Inscription present: with a curved upright stroke

  • Text: script B
  • Location: On base below the other marks
  • Method of creation: Painted in brighter blue
  • Gilder's mark
  • Text: H P
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Painted in red enamel which has partly worn away
  • Mark
  • Text: illegible
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written probably in black ink
  • Inscription

Inscription present: narrow rectangular label

  • Text: 'From Lord Dudley's Collection'
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Label

Inscription present: circular label printed round the edge with a narrow blue band and a wider blue band

  • Text: 55 underlined
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black crayon
  • Label

Inscription present: rectangular with the left end torn off

  • Text: (S) EVRES printed 'Niquet & Dodin/Date/1778' hand-written
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Printed in black and hand-written in faded black ink
  • Label

Inscription present: rectangular with part of the right side torn off

  • Text: Part of the service/made for the/Empress Cath...../of Russia
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black ink
  • Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.51-1961
Primary reference Number: 93541
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 23 March 2021 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

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 (2020) "Plate" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/93541 Accessed: 2021-12-03 07:28:04

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/93541|title=Plate|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-12-03 07:28:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa23/C_51_1961_20_281_29.jpg" alt="Plate from the Empress Catherine Service" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Plate from the Empress Catherine Service</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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