This pair of plates are from a service described in the factory's records as service fleurettes et papillons colorés that entered the saleroom in August 1822. The service was subsequently divided, with a portion delivered to the château de Compiègne in 1824 and the second part to a 'Monsieur Roux de la Rochelle' in 1834. Nothing from the service remains in the collection of Compiègne and there is, therefore, no way of confirming to which delivery the present pair of plates originally belonged. The following more detailed information has been provided, courtesy of Mme. Tamara Préaud, formerly at the archives of the Sèvres factory:
6 November 1824 (Registre Vbb 6, folio 79: 183.58), a mixture of pieces from various services was delivered 'pour le service du grand maître au chateau royal de Compiègne', among which were the following pieces from the service decorated with butterflies and flowers:
4 boat-shaped dishes at 20 francs each, 18 pots à jus at 9 francs each, 2 salad bowls at 36 francs each, 24 soup-plates at 14 francs each.
15 April 1830 (Registre Vbb 8, folio 14 verso: 183.58) notes the delivery of the balance of this service to 'Monsieur Roux de Rochelle, envoté extraordinaire et ministre plénipotentiaire de S.M. aux Etats Unis'. Described as a service entrée et dessert, fleurettes et papillons, this second delivery included:
106 plates at 15 francs each, 24 soup-plates at 14 francs each, 2 soup-tureens at 72 francs each, 2 soup-tureen stands at 15 francs each, 3 boat-shaped dishes at 20 francs each, 2 sauceboats and stands at 47 francs each, 2 salad-bowls at 36 francs each, 16 pots de crème at 9 francs each, 2 stands for these at 45 francs each, 12 various serving dishes at 20 francs each and 2 fruit-bowls at 30 francs each.
Twelve plates from this service, known to have been delivered to the French Ambassador to the United States in 1830 were sold by Christie's in New York on 20 April 2007, lot 251. Eleven more plates from this service were sold under the expertise of Cyrille Froissart in an auction organized by Etude Doutrebente at Drouot in Paris on 31 March 2006, lot 141, and five further examples were sold anonymously by Christie's in Monaco on 5 December 1991, lot 44. Two others are known in an American private collection.
Jean-Charles Develly (1783-1862) was one of the most accomplished painters working at Sèvres while it was under the directorship of Alexandre Brongniart. Well known for his detailed depictions of everyday life in France, North Africa and the Middle East he was active at the manufactory from 1813 to 1847.