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Gobelet litron et soucoupe: C.7 & A-1956

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Gobelet litron et soucoupe


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Painter: Noël, Guillaume




Soft-paste porcelain cup and saucer, painted in enamels with mauve and white stripes, and with wreaths, bows, and posies in reserves, and gilded

Soft-paste porcelain painted in blue, green, yellow, pink, red, and mauve enamels, and gilded. Cylindrical cup with double-curved handle. Circular saucer with flat central area and deep, sloping sides. There is a hole for suspension in the footring of each piece.The cup has a ground of mauve stripes, each flanked by a gold line, a blue line and a line of gold dots, alternating with reserved white stripes decorated with small gold floral sprays. Encircling the cup there are two large and two small shaped reserves linked to each other. The two large ones contain wreaths of laurel leaves and red berries tied at the top with a bow of mauve ribbon from which is suspended a posy of three pink roses and leaves. The wreaths are linked by swags passing through the two small reserves, each composed of three posies of three pink roses linked by sprays of leaves. There are bands of gilding round the base and rim, lines down the sides of the handle and a stylised leaf. and two bell flowers separated by spots down its back. In the centre of the saucer there are two concentric gold circles from which radiate mauve stripes like those on the cup. They end at varying distances from the centre, so that they form a cross-shape with incurved sides and ends. The sides are decorated en suite with the cup with four large reserved linked by four small, each containing a posy of three roses and leaves. There is a band of gilding round the rim.


History note: Louis Colville Gray Clarke, MA, Leckhampton, Cambridge; lent to The Fitzwilliam Museum in 1947; given, 1956

Legal notes

Given by Louis C.G. Clarke, MA

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1956-07-19) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


Late 18th century
Louis XVI
Production date: AD 1777 : The cup and saucer bear the date letter for 1777


Shades of mauve, lilac, violet and purple were fashionable from 1773 and throughout the reign of Louis XVI (see Documentation, Verlet, 1953).

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, Préaux 1991, Bellaigue 2009, Savill, 1988) This is a gobelet litron and saucer of the second size with Savill's handle shape B.

School or Style

Louis XVI

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( blue, green, yellow, pink, red, and mauve) gold
Saucer Diameter 13.9 cm Height 3.2 cm
Cup Height 7 cm
Cup Including Handle Width 9.4 cm

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Soft-paste porcelain, thrown, painted in blue, green, yellow, pink, red, and mauve enamels, and gilded.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: interlaced L's enclosing Z
  • Location: On base of cup and saucer, over a large chip on the latter
  • Method of creation: Painted in pink enamel
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: horizontal line, with above, a line parallel to it with a hump in the middle

  • Location: On base of cup and saucer above the factory mark
  • Method of creation: In pink enamel
  • Type: Painter's mark
  • Text: 3 c/
  • Location: On base of cup
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark

Inscription present: rectangular white paper label now buff

  • Text: SEVRES printed and Ptr Noel/date 1777 L.C.G.C. handwritten
  • Location: On base of cup
  • Method of creation: Printed in black and hand-written in faed black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: rectangular lined white paper label with cut corners now discoloured

  • Text: Lent by Louis C.G. Clarke/Dec.1947.
  • Location: On base of cup and saucer
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in faded black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: rectangular white paper label with printed rectangular frame comprising a wide and a narrow blue line

  • Text: Louis/Clarke
  • Location: On base of cup and saucer
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in faded black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.7 & A-1956
Primary reference Number: 93542
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 5 January 2021 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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