• A Marriage of Collections: The auction at Christies

    Sale 2398

    A Marriage of Collections: The Property of Dr. Julius and Dena K. Tarshis

    21 April 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 178

    TWO PARIS (DARTE FRERES) PORCELAIN CUPS AND SAUCERS INSET WITH SULPHIDE PORTRAITS

    CIRCA 1815, THE SAUCER OF THE SECOND AN ENGLISH SUBSTITUTE, THE FIRST PORTRAIT IMPRESSED ON THE REVERSE DESPREZ/RUE DES RECOLETS/NO. 2 A PARIS, THE SECOND WITH THE SITTER'S NAME

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    TWO PARIS (DARTE FRERES) PORCELAIN CUPS AND SAUCERS INSET WITH SULPHIDE PORTRAITS
    CIRCA 1815, THE SAUCER OF THE SECOND AN ENGLISH SUBSTITUTE, THE FIRST PORTRAIT IMPRESSED ON THE REVERSE DESPREZ/RUE DES RECOLETS/NO. 2 A PARIS, THE SECOND WITH THE SITTER'S NAME
    Both cups with gilt scroll handle terminating in the head of an eagle, one painted with neo-classic and Egyptian revival motifs on a pale yellow ground, the bottom of the cup with a sulphide portrait of of Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia, encased within a 'sandwich' of glass discs, the saucer en suite; the second gilt with anthemia above beaded and ovolo banding, its bottom with a sulphide portrait of Mme. de Sévigné, identified on the underside, the saucer an English substitution of similar date gilt with Greek Key on a taupe ground, probably Worcester or Spode
    3¾ in. (9.5 cm.) high overall, the cups (4)


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    The fashion for replacing the bottom of porcelain cups with sulphide portraits set between glass discs reached its height during the Restoration. It is known that specific glass manufacturers supplied the portrait 'sandwiches' to specific porcelain manufacturers. In the present lot, the male portrait was supplied by Nicolas Despréz to Darte Frères. The female portrait, although inset into a cup of the same form, was likely supplied by a different glass manufacturer, as the rim of the discs are not beveled and the font used to impress the factory mark or sitter's name varies, as does the quality of the modeling. Cf. Régine Plinval de Guillebon, Faïence et porcelaine de Paris XVIIIe-XIXe Siècles, Paris, 1995, pp. 320, 322, fig. 306.

    Provenance

    Phillips, London, 6 June 1991, lot 164 (the first).
    Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, 30 May 1981, lot 81 (the second cup).


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the sulphide portrait in the pale-yellow cup is Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia. The portrait was originally modeled by Leonhard Posch (1750-1831) in the spring of 1814 in Paris and was used as the prototype for a medal to commemorate the visit of the Prussian King to the Paris Mint. The French medalist Raymond Gayrard created the French medal using Posch's portrait.


    Literature

    Dena Kaminsky, 'Sulphides: "The Noble Simplicity and Quiet Grandeur"', PCA Bulletin, 1984, p. 32, fig. 3 (cup only, the second).


    Exhibited

    D. Tarshis, Objects of Fantasy: Glass Inclusions of the Nineteenth Century, The Corning Museum of Glass, New York, 2001, p. 132-133, no. 74 (the first).