• Centuries of Style: Silver, Eu auction at Christies

    Sale 7800

    Centuries of Style: Silver, European Ceramics, Portrait Miniatures and Gold Boxes

    17 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 157

    TWELVE SEVRES BLEU CELESTE GROUND PLATES (ASSIETTES A PALMES)

    1775-1779, VARIOUS INTERLACED L'S MARKS ENCLOSING DATE LETTERS X, Y, Z AND BB, VARIOUS PAINTER'S MARKS INCLUDING F.B. FOR FRANCOIS-MARIE BARRAT, NQ FOR NICQUET, ' FOR CHARLES-LOUIS MEREAUD, IN FOR LE CHAUVAUX AND MARK FOR GUILLAUME NOEL

    Price Realised  

    TWELVE SEVRES BLEU CELESTE GROUND PLATES (ASSIETTES A PALMES)
    1775-1779, VARIOUS INTERLACED L'S MARKS ENCLOSING DATE LETTERS X, Y, Z AND BB, VARIOUS PAINTER'S MARKS INCLUDING F.B. FOR FRANCOIS-MARIE BARRAT, NQ FOR NICQUET, ' FOR CHARLES-LOUIS MEREAUD, IN FOR LE CHAUVAUX AND MARK FOR GUILLAUME NOEL
    Each painted with a bouquet of fruit and flowers, within a broad bleu céleste border reserved with three lesser bouquets within gilt oval ribbon-tied frond cartouches issuing entwined leafy garlands, within petal-shaped gilt line rim (some slight wear and surface scratching)
    Each approximately 9 5/8 in. (24.5 cm.) wide (12)


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    These twelve plates bear striking similarities to the service given by King Louis XVI of France as a diplomatic gift to the Duchess of Manchester in 1783. The Duchess of Manchester service is virtually complete with all but four of the assiette à palmes in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, each bearing a date code post 1776. The Sèvres factory records a series of stock service wares that were decorated and fired between 1776-1783 with almost identical gilding patterns and enamel decoration to the present lot and the Duchess of Manchester service, called fond bleu céleste Groupes de fleurs in the factory records. Although these stock items were used to complete other services, including one for the marquis de Noailles in 1777 and one for an M. Parent in 1778, many of the pieces were not fired until 1780-81. It is highly likely that the present plates once formed part of a service purchased by the marchand-orfèvre Jacques Billet of Paris on 30th June 1781. For a listing of the contents and discussion of this service see David Peters, Sèvres Plates and Services of the 18th Century (Hertfordshire, 2005), Vol. III, pp. 623-624. See also the plate from the Collections of Hanns and Elisabeth Weinberg and the Antique Porcelain Company of New York sale, Sotheby's New York, 10 & 11 November 2006, lot 628.

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    Provenance

    Most probably acquired by James, 2nd Marquess of Abercorn (1811-1885), later created 1st Duke of Abercorn in 1868, and thence by descent.