Nicolas Charles Dodin (1734-1803) is today recognized as the finest painter en miniature working at Vincennes and Sèvres in the 18th century. Hired in 1754 as a figure painter at a salary of 24 livres per month, he first worked in monochrome, faithfully copying the engravings by Aveline, de la Rue and Huquier of putti painted by François Boucher. Once confident of his technique, he quickly moved on to full color, and to the detailed scenes on which his reputation is based. His skill was recognized by the managers at the factory, and Dodin was called upon time and time again to decorate pieces destined for the most important collectors of the day including Louis XV, his two mistresses Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry, Louis XVI, his two brothers - Louis Stanislas Xavier, comte de Provence (later Louis XVIII) and Charles Philippe, comte d'Artois (later Charles X) and Catherine the Great, Empress of all the Russias.
Pieces painted by Dodin are fairly rare on the market. Other cups painted by Chabry fils after François Boucher with the same scene, these reserved on a pink oeil de perdrix ground further decorated with swagged berried garlands, were sold Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., London, 5 July 1966, lot 126 (a pair from the collection of the Honorable Jack Michelham) and 12 June 1984, lot 200.
A Vase Bouc à Raisins painted by Dodin in 1770 with a scene after Fragonard on one side and with an agricultural trophy on the other reserved on the same green ground richly gilt with similar vines and formerly in the collection of Madame Bernheim was sold Christie's, Paris, 27 May 2004, lot 221. A pair of tableaux after David Teniers the Younger from a private collection was sold Christie's, New York, 17 May 2005, lot 85.
Unfortunately, the present cup and saucer cannot be traced through the factory's records, as the overtime payment records for 1771 are missing.