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Theière Calabre: C.22 & A-1961

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Theière Calabre


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Painter: Aloncle, François-Joseph




Soft-paste porcelain, decorated with a bleu céleste ground, reserves painted in enamels with birds, and gilding

Soft-paste porcelain, decorated with a bleu céleste ground, painting overglaze in blue, two shades of greyish-green, yellow, dark pink, red, purple, brown, grey and black (very little) 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 multi-petalled flower on a stalk with two leaves. There are five strainer holes on the interior between spout and body, and on the cover, a ventilation hole beside the knob, and a suspension hole in the inner rim. The ground is bleu céleste with two heart-shaped reserves on the body and two kidney-shaped on the cover, framed by gold scrolls and floral sprays which project at the sides. The reserves are painted in polychrome with two exotic birds (two in each panel on the body and one in each panel on the cover), standing on the branches of low tree, with bushes and trees in the background. There is a single bird in flight on the lower part of the spout, which like the handle is left white. The flower knob is yellow with agreen centre. There are bands of gilding round the foot and the junction of the spout and body; dentilated bands of gilding round the rim of the pot and edge of the cover; and lines of gilding down the sides of the handle. The stem of the knob is gilded.


History note: Christie's, 20 February 1934, Catalogue of Chinese and Continental Porcelain...,p. 12, lot 70; acquired by Mallett & Sons from whom purchased by Louis Colville Gray Clarke in 1934, for £65.

Legal notes

L.C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960

Measurements and weight

Height: 13.8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ Ile de France ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, third quarter#
Louis XV
Production date: circa AD 1761 : The pot bears the date letter for 1761


Calabre forms were named after Pierre Calabre, a shareholder in the Charles Adam and Eloi Brichard Companies at Vincennes and Sèvres. The théière Calabre was the most common teapot form made at Sèvres. It was in production by December 1752, and was available in two sizes by 1753. Eventually there were five sizes, which were not clearly identified by the factory. Savill (Documentation 1988) divided them into size groups A to F. This pot is her size B about 13.2 to 14.7 cm high.

François-Joseph Aloncle (1734-81) was employed at Sèvres between 1758 and his death. Although he sometimes painted other subjects, he was primarily a bird painter.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of ground colour ( bleu celeste) enamels ( blue, greyish-green, yellow, dark pink, red, purple, brown, grey and black (very little)) gold
Cover Diameter 6.6 cm
Handle-spout Length 18.4 cm
Body Of Pot

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: interlaced L's enclosing I
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: N

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

Inscription present: rectangular white paper label now pale buff

  • Text: SEVRES printed and Painter Aloncle/Date/ 1761 hand-written
  • Location: On base below painter's mark
  • Method of creation: Printed in black and hand-written in black ink, now faded
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.22 & A-1961
Primary reference Number: 93562
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 5 January 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Theière Calabre" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-21 20:56:39

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