Of a form designed by Jean-Claude Duplessis, the present tureen is from a large service sold to the marchands Empaytas et Cie in 1795, later acquired by the Chérémèteff family in Russia. A large part of the service, of which most pieces are dated between 1788 and 1791, is illustrated in 'Les Porcelainiers du 18ème siècle français', Connaissance des Arts, Paris, 1964, pp. 223-4.
Four seau à bouteilles of 1788 are in the collection at Waddesdon Manor of which one is illustrated by Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue, The Louis XVI Service, London, 1986, p. 27, fig. 18. Three plates have appeared recently at auction (The Collection of Charles-Otto Zieseniss; Christie's, Paris, 6 December 2001, lot 183 and anon. sale; Sotheby's London, 25 November 1997, lot 24) as have two tasses à glace (European Ceramics including The Pompey Collection; Christie's, New York, 23 May 2002, lot 4).
The Chérémèteff family was at the height of its power and influence during the reign of Catherine the Great when family members held high office in the army, navy and diplomatic corps. Highlights from the family's collection of bleu celeste Sèvres, including a set of ornithological plates acquired by New England collectors and sold Christie's New York, 5 May 1999, lot 51, were exhibited in London in 1906 at the (Asher) Westheimer Gallery, New Bond Street. See "The Chérémèteff Sèvres Porcelain", The Connoisseur, XV, August 1906, pp. 243-448.
Jacques-François-Louis de Laroche is recorded at Sèvres as a painter specializing in flowers, ground colours and patterns 1758-1801.
Henri Martin Prévost is recorded as a gilder at Sèvres 1757-1797.