The original function of these pots, part of a group of seven from the Borghese service, has been much debated. The form is known in pre-Revolutionary France, and it has been suggested that these dishes held individual casseroles for truffles, eggs or ortollans to be served as condiments for the main course. However, 18th century menus and recipes suggest that pots of this type were used to hold cooked cream-flavored dishes, which were served as side dishes, or entremets.
Production of this form continued into the 19th century, as evidenced by an inventory for 18 pots-à-crème in a service made for Napoleon as King of Italy. (See Versailles et les Tables Royales en Europe, Versailles, November 1993 - February 1994, cat. no. 314-327.) An identical pair from the Mikhail Pavlovich service, by Cahier, sold at Christie's, Geneva, 17 November, 1998, lot 165