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THE 'MARLY ROUGE' SERVICE: A SEVRES PORCELAIN IRON-RED AND SKY-BLUE GROUND PART DESSERT SERVICE MADE FOR NAPOLEON I
THE 'MARLY ROUGE' SERVICE: A SEVRES PORCELAIN IRON-RED AND SKY-BLUE GROUND PART DESSERT SERVICE MADE FOR NAPOLEON I
THE 'MARLY ROUGE' SERVICE: A SEVRES PORCELAIN IRON-RED AND SKY-BLUE GROUND PART DESSERT SERVICE MADE FOR NAPOLEON I
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THE 'MARLY ROUGE' SERVICE: A SEVRES PORCELAIN IRON-RED AND SKY-BLUE GROUND PART DESSERT SERVICE MADE FOR NAPOLEON I
5 More
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more
THE 'MARLY ROUGE' SERVICE: A SEVRES PORCELAIN IRON-RED AND SKY-BLUE GROUND PART DESSERT SERVICE MADE FOR NAPOLEON I

CIRCA 1807-09, IRON-RED STENCILED M. IMPLE DE SEVRES MARK, DATE CYPHERS 7, 8 AND 9 FOR 1807-09, VARIOUS INCISED MARKS

Details
THE 'MARLY ROUGE' SERVICE: A SEVRES PORCELAIN IRON-RED AND SKY-BLUE GROUND PART DESSERT SERVICE MADE FOR NAPOLEON I
CIRCA 1807-09, IRON-RED STENCILED M. IMPLE DE SEVRES MARK, DATE CYPHERS 7, 8 AND 9 FOR 1807-09, VARIOUS INCISED MARKS
Painted with scattered butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles and other insects, the plates with a further gold band reserved and painted with a ribbon-tied wreath of flowers, the border gilt with paired berried leaves extending off a central vine, comprising:
An ice-pail, cover and liner with elephant-head handles (glacière ‘Brachard’ ou ‘à tête d’eléphants’), finely painted to each side with a bouquet surrounded by insects
A pair of oval eagle-headed sauce-tureens or sugar-bowls, covers and navette shaped stands (sucriers ‘tête d’aigle’), the finials as eagle chicks hatching from eggs
A footed bowl (jatte ‘Hebé’)
Two compotes supported by four parcel gilt dolphins (compotiers ‘à pieds dauphins’)
Four slightly smaller footed compotes (compotiers ‘sans dauphins’)
Twelve plates
13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm.) high, the cooler
Provenance
Ordered for Napoleon 1er at the château de Compiègne but delivered to Fontainebleau, 11 October 1809.
Acquired by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.
Bequest to Laurance S. Rockefeller, 1948.
Acquired from the Estate of Laurance S. Rockefeller, 11 July 2004.
Literature
W. Adelson et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Supplement, New York, 2015, vol. V, pp. 158-159, no. 63.
C. Leprince, Napoléon 1er & La Manufacture de Sèvres, L'Art de la Porcelaine au service de L'Empire, Paris, 2016, pp. 73-3 and 278, no. 142.
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Lot Essay

The selection of pieces from the Sèvres porcelain ‘Marly Rouge’ dessert service made for Emperor Napoleon I of France are among the works in the Rockefeller collection with highly important provenance. Described in the factory’s records as à fond rouge, papillons et fleurs (red ground with butterflies and flowers), this dessert service was originally ordered by Napoleon for the palace in Compiègne. However, records show its delivery on 7, 8 and 18 October 1809 to the palace of Fontainebleau. It was to Fontainebleau that Napoleon retreated for a respite after the grueling negotiations of the Treaty of Vienna, the signing of which at Schönbrunn Palace on 14 October 1809 ended hostilities between France and Austria. During this month-long stay outside Paris at his favorite country retreat, Napoleon broke the news to his empress, Josephine de Beauharnais, that he was divorcing her, as she had been unable to give him a son. Despite or perhaps because of its association with Josephine, the service marly rouge, was part of the household effects Napoleon brought with him into exile on the island of Elba only five years later.

Today, only one dolphin-footed compote and six plates remain at Fontainebleau, all recent acquisitions. Although plates have appeared on the art market in recent years, the portion of the service to be offered in the Rockefeller collection includes important pieces of form from the original delivery not seen on the art market since Abby Aldrich Rockefeller acquired the part-service over seventy-five years ago.

See C. Leprince, op. cit., p. 278, no. 142 for the complete listing of the 1809 delivery, valued at 19,980 francs.

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