The Sèvres 'Service des Arts Industriels' was made between 1820 and 1835, and was purchased by King Louis-Philippe as a gift for Prince von Metternich, to whom it was delivered on 16th May 1836.
Alexandre Brongniart, director of the factory, almost certainly initiated production of the service. He chose Jean-Charles Develly, one of the most gifted painters to execute the decoration, and all the scenes were taken from life rather than engravings, which would have been more traditional.
The techniques of production of this service were somewhat unusual. The blue ground was applied first, then the gilding, and then Develly transferred his drawings on paper on to the centre of each plate. He did this by rubbing graphite over the back of his drawings and applying them to each plate, going over his drawing again from the front to transfer the design. This was then painted in at least two stages, the ébauche ou première peinture (rough sketch), and the retouche (retouching). The plates went into the ébauche kiln and then into the retouche kiln. There could be more than one retouche firing. Finally the plates went into the kiln to fire the gilt circle around each painting. Each plate cost 167.45 francs to produce and they were finally sold for 200 francs each. One hundred and nineteen plates were made in all.
For an extensive article on this service see Pierre Ennès, "Four Plates from the Sèvres Service des arts industriels (1820-1835)", Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, (1990), Vol. 2, pp. 89-106.
Twenty-four plates from this service sold in these Rooms on 28th June 1993, lots 28-51. A pair of sugar-bowls, covers and stands and thriteen plates were sold in these Rooms on 14th June 1994, lots 117-130 and two plates were sold in these Rooms on 24th February 1997, lots 256 and 257.
Jean-Charles Develly was a painter at Sèvres between 1813 and 1847. Antoine-Gabriel Boullemier was a gilder at Sèvres between 1802 and 1842.