The award winning technique of pâte-sur-pâte decoration, known at Sèvres as pâte d'application, was developed in the early 1850's under Léopold-Jules-Joseph Gély, a sculptor-modeler and decorator (1851-1888) and Ferdinand Régnier. As mentor and collaborator with Marc Louis Solon, Pierre Adolphe Dammouse and Taxile Doat, Gély produced a series of innovative and critically acclaimed works over the period.
Gély not only produced cabinet pieces, but was responsible for the decoration on massive pâte-sur-pâte vases now in public collections in France. For an illustration of a vase with a spoonbill from the 1855 Paris Exposition Universelle, and later sold Christie's, New York, see The Exhibition of Art-Industry in Paris, Catalogue, 1855, p. 11. Also see B. Ducrot, Porcelaines et Terres de Sévres, Catalogue Musée National du Château de Compiègne, no. 212 for two of a set of four massive ormolu-mounted pâte-sur-pâte celadon-ground torcheres, made in 1862, which were exhibited at the 1862 Exposition Universelle in London and entered the Napoleon III Imperial collection.
The form 'Coupe de Rivoli' was created by Jules Diéterle in 1852. The present example is among the earliest and the only polychrome pâte-sur-pâte example known. For a closely related white and celadon example decorated by Hyacinthe Rènier for the 1855 Paris Exposition Universelle and purchased at that time by The South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria & Albert Museum), see B. Bumpus, Pâte-sur-Pâte, The of Ceramic Relief Decoration, 1849-1992, London, p. 22. Also see the 1876 work of Pierre Dammouse (now in the Mobilier National, Paris, Inv. GML 5286), illustrated B. Ducrot, Sèvres, une histoire céramique; Second Empire & IIIe Republique, Paris, 2008, p. 41. Another example created by Dammouse and exhibited at the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle, was sold by Sotheby's, New York, 24 October 2007, lot 399.