Post Lot Text
A MID-19TH CENTURY SEVRES PORCELAIN "DEJEUNER CHINOIS RETICULE"
BLUE CROWNED L MARK,DECORATION MARKS FOR 1839 AND 1842, PAINTER'S MARK FOR PIERRE HUARD
With polychrome and gilt decoration depicting Chinese figures, bouquets of flowers and ritual objects in cartouches, on a coral and pale yellow ground with arabesques, comprising:
- an octafoil tray with fixed central stand on stem
- a coffee pot and cover
- a tea pot and cover
- a sugar bowl and cover
- a milk jug
- a bowl
- four tea bowls and saucers;
a late replacement lacquered wood stand at the top of the tray's column, very tiny wear to the gilding
Supplied on the orders of the General Intendant (acting on behalf of Louis-Philippe) on 12th August 1842 to Mr. de Cambacérès, a French peer, or on the orders of Louis-Philippe in June 1844 to Mr. de Rothschild.
The origin of the "Déjeuner chinois réticulé"
The name is taken directly from Chinese production. Indeed, on 11th April 1826 the Sallé collection of Chinese objects began to be spread throughout Paris. This collection included a quantity of white openwork Chinese porcelain which provided the inspiration for the designer Yacinthe Régnier's first "breakfast set" in 1831; for a preparatory drawing showing the coffee pot and its cover, now in the archives of the Manufacture de Sèvres, see Tamara Praud, The Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, Alexandre Brongniart and the Triumph of Art Industry, 1800-1847, Singapore, 1997, p.267, n.76.
Its production is complex and required the involvement of three craftsmen: a turner to create the interior section, a modeller for the outer shell, which is attached to the first section, as well as for the handles, and finally a third tradesman for the openwork. The openwork pattern on this piece is so complicated that only around fifty "déjeuners" sets of this kind were ever made. Finally, in around 1900, the factory asked Léon Kann to redesign a simpler pattern.
This rare example of a "Déjeuner chinois réticulé" represents a traditional diplomatic gift of the time.
- Louis-Philippe (1773-1850), roi des Français from 1830 until his abdication in 1848 at the time of the Révolution de Février.
- Yacinthe Régnier: modeller, sculptor and designer of stained-glass cartoons for the Manufacture de Sèvres between 1825 and 1863.
- Pierre Huard: decorative painter and pattern designer for the Manufacture de Sèvres between 1811 and 1847.
Other currently identified examples from the first period
Our service can be compared with six other more or less complete breakfast sets, which are all, with the exception of the last one (by chronological order), similarly decorated in the "Chinese style": - the first dating from 1837, with a turquoise ground, delivered on 14th July 1838 to Queen Marie-Amélie, the wife of Louis-Philippe, roi des Français; illustrated in Sotheby's New-York catalogue, 22nd May 1997, lot 40,
- the second dating from 1840, with a pink ground, also delivered in 1840 to Queen Marie-Amélie and housed in the collection at the Louvre Museum; for an illustration, see the exhibition catalogue Un âge d'or des arts décoratifs 1814-1848, Paris, 1991, p.279,
- the third dating from 1841, on a coral ground, delivered on 13th October 1841 by order of Louis-Philippe to the Viceroy of Egypt Méhemmet'Ali and housed in a private collection ; illustrated in Christie's Monaco catalogue, 12th December 1999, lot 936;
- the fourth dating from 1842, on a grenn ground, probably delivered to king Louis-Philippe or queen Marie-Amelie, housed in the collection of the Detroit Institute of art;
- the fifth dating from 1846, on a pale green ground, housed in a private collection; illustrated in Christie's New-York catalogue, 20th April 2005, lot 172,
- the sixth dating from 1861, on a white ground, housed in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; for an illustration, see Marcelle Brunet and Tamara Préaud, Sèvres des origines à nos jours, Fribourg, 1978, p. 297, n. 390.
The third and fourth examples are certainly the most similar in terms of decor to the one included in today's sale; we are not surprised to see on the third the mark of the same painter, Pierre Huard, with the use of this impressive coral ground; the latter being produced no more than a year later and comprising a number of extra pieces.