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Plate from the Louis XVI Service: C.55-1961

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Plate from the Louis XVI Service


Factory: Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory
Gilder: Le Guay, Etienne-Henry
Painter: Le Guay, Pierre-André
Engraver: Gaillard, René (After)
Painter: Boucher, François (After)




Soft-paste porcelain decorated with a bleu nouveau ground on the rim, painting in enamels and gilding: in the centre, 'Les Bacchantes Endormies' after Boucher; on the reserves on the rim, classical scenes.

Soft-paste porcelain decorated with an bleu nouveau ground, painting in blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, dark pink, pale purple, shades of brown, and grey enamels, and gilding. Circular, the rim scalloped with twelve alternately large and small arcs. The rim is slightly concave and the well has a shallow, concave sides. There is a suspension hole in the footring. In the centre, reserved on a white ground, is a circular panel, framed by a wide band of gilding tooled with bound laurel leaves and a narrow band of gilding tooled with straight lines outside it. The panel is painted with three voluptuous nymphs sleeping in the shelter of a purple hanging beside a tree, unaware of a satyr who peers at them over the hanging. The rim has a bleu nouveau ground decorated with gold scrolls, sprays of flowers and foliage, between which are four, elongated oval reserves framed by wide bands of gilding tooled with overlapping scales and crossed ribbons. The panels are painted in polychrome as follows: (1) Combat des Horiaces et Curiaces - A contest between two soldiers carrying swords and shields while another lies dead beside them and a fourth approaches from behind. (2) Cincinnatus - Two standing men, one wearing armour, invite Cincinnatus dressed as a farmer to come into the palace standing behind them. (3) Les Vestales portant le feu sacré - A young woman kneels in front of a brazier which is being carried by two priestesses. (4) Paul Emile appelle à l'armée - A seated man refuses to look at a young woman being presented to him by another man. All the figures wear classical dress. There are bands of gilding round the inner and outer edges of the rim, and the footring, and a band of gold laurel leaves and berries on the underside of the rim.


History note: Louis XVI; ......; Christie's, London, 9 February 1921, lot 157; D.M. Currie; Mrs Alastair Currie; sold Christie's, 13 June, 1946, Catalogue of Old French Furniture and Sèvres Porcelain . . ., p. 6, lot 35; sold to Partridge for 110 guineas on behalf of Louis C.G. Clarke

Legal notes

L.C.G. Clarke Bequest, 1960

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 23.9 cm
Height: 2.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Sèvres ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1960) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


18th Century, Late
Louis XVI
Production date: probably AD 1790


The central reserve is painted with 'Les Bacchantes Endormies' from an engraving by René Gaillard published in 1764. after the painting by François Boucher, Other sources used for the service were the Paris editions of Ovid's Métamorphoses (1767-71) and Abbé Fénelon's Les Aventures de Télémaque (1773).

The tooling of the frame of the central reserve is different from the other plates in the service which have imbricated disks

This plate formed part of the service ordered by Louis XVI for the dining room at Versailles in 1783. The service was the most costly ever made at Sèvres, and was manufactured in stages up to 1793, when it was not complete. The majority of the service is at Windsor Castle, having been acquired in 1811 and 1812 by George, Prince of Wales, the future George IV. For the locations of other components see Documentation, Bellaigue, 1986, and Peters, 2005.

School or Style

Louis XVI

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, dark pink, pale purple, shades of brown, and grey) gold

Materials used in production

Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Soft-paste porcelain, moulded, and decorated with a bleu nouveau ground, reserves painted overglaze in blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, dark pink, pale purple, shades of brown, and grey enamels, and tooled gilding

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: interlaced Ls
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Painted in gold
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: in script

  • Text: LG
  • Location: On base, below factory mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in gold
  • Type: Gilder's mark
  • Text: 33
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised underglaze
  • Type: Incised mark
  • Text: t
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised underglaze
  • Type: Incised mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.55-1961
Primary reference Number: 93749
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 16 August 2022 Last processed: Friday 8 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) "Plate from the Louis XVI Service" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-13 02:44:44

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