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Compotier rond: C.37B-1961

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Compotier rond


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Painter: Evans, Etienne
Edwards, George (After)




Soft-paste porcelain dish, decorated with a bleu céleste ground, a reserve painted in enamels, with a bird and a tree in landscape (Canard de perie), and gilding

Soft-paste porcelain decorated with a bleu céleste ground, painting in greyish-blue, several shades of green, yellow, pale purple, grey, brown, and black enamels, and gilding. Circular with deep, curved sides, the rim divided by indentations into eight segments. There is a suspension hole in the footring.The dish has a bleu céleste ground with a central, circular reserve framed by an inner band of gilding tooled with scrolling leaves, and an outer garland of large husks. The reserve is painted in polychrome with a duck standing on the right of a tree in a landscape with a pond or river on the right. Its name 'Canard de perie' is inscribed in black enamel on the base. There is a band of gilding round the rim, dentilated on the exterior.


History note: Collection of Madame Dhainaut; sold Sotheby's 10 December 1936, Catalogue of a Very Choice Collection of Works of Art, The Property of Madame Dhainaut of Paris, lot 49; Mallett & Son, 40 New Bond Street, London, Exhibition (1937) of Old English Furniture Needlework, Silver, Old Chinese, Sèvres and English Porcelains and Objects of Art, p. 38, part of no. 274, ill. opposite p. 36 (right); Louis C.G. Clarke, MA (1881-1960) Cambridge, by whom bequeathed

Legal notes

L.C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 21.5 cm
Height: 4.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ Île de France ⪼ France
  • London ⪼ Île de France ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

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


Mid-18th Century
Louis XV
Production date: AD 1768 : date letter for 1768


Bird decoration after George Edwards was first used at Sèvres on the service commissioned by the 3rd Duke of Richmond (1735-1806) in November 1765, and made in 1766 (with one exception of 1765). This was probably followed by the Razumosvsky Service of 1767 (except one piece 1766). At least five other services or groups of pieces are known between 1767-1770 which have comparable decoration and the names of the birds inscribed on the bases. They can be distinguished by the different designs of their gilding. This compotier and its pair probably belonged to a service with gold husks around the reserves which in the late 19th century belonged to Count A.D. Sheremetev (or Chérémèteff), of St Petersburg. Part of the service, not including the compotiers ronds, was displayed in London by Asher Wertheimer in Bond Streeet, with other Sèvres from the Sheremetev collection in 1906 (see Documentation). David Peters identified the service as one purchased on 5 November 1768 by an unnamed buyer, whom he considered was probably the M. de Cotensky who bought twenty-four plates and two seaux à glace on 9 March 1769, pieces not included in the earlier anonymous order. Peters identified Cotensky as probably Nikolai Konstantinovich Chotinski, Russian chargé d’affaires to France from 24 December 1767 to January 1774, and again from 28 August 1780 to 25 April 1782. This would account for the presence of the service in Russia. This hypothesis is supported by the presence of two seaux à glace of similar format and with the same gilding design, with the date letter for 1769, in the Dodge Collection, at the Detroit Institue of Arts. The service ordered in November 1768 included 8 compotiers at 45 livres and 8 compotiers at 51 livres.

George Edwards, 'A Natural History of Birds', was published in London in four volumes in 1743, 1747, 1750 and 1751. A French edition was published in 1745, 1747, and vols 3 and 4 in 1751.The 'Canard de perse; on C.37B-1961 was after pl. 100, which Edwards describes as 'The little Black and White Duck', and in the French edition, 'Histoire Naturelle de Divers Oiseaux', also 1747, it is called 'Le petit Canard noir et blanc'. Selma Schwarz noted that many of the names of the birds inscribed on the porcelain services do not coincide with the names given by Edwards, as these do not. The painters often added a place of origin drawn from the text, but sometimes inaccurately as a result of misunderstanding. Etienne Evans, was one of the factory’s leading bird painters, but was not so talented as Louis-Denis Armand, Aloncle, or Chappuis. His was described as ‘travaillant fort médiocrement’ in 1755.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of ground colour ( bleu céleste) enamels ( greyish-blue, several shades of green, yellow, pale purple, grey, brown, and black) gold

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Soft-paste porcelain decorated with a bleu céleste ground, painting in greyish-blue, several shades of green, yellow, pale purple, grey, brown, and black enamels, and gilding with tooled details.

Inscription or legends present

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

Inscription present: resembling a dagger

  • Text: X
  • Location: On the base, beneath the factory mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue enamel
  • Type: Painter's mark

Inscription present: very difficult to see

  • Text: V or possibly BV
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Incised mark
  • Text: Canard de perie
  • Location: On base above the factory mark
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in black cursive script
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: rectangular white paper label now pale buff

  • Text: Painter Evans/1768 handwritten, SEVRES printed
  • Location: On base below factory mark
  • Method of creation: Printed in black and hand-written in black
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.37B-1961
Primary reference Number: 93574
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 12 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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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Compotier rond" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-03 18:23:51

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