This bougeoir is from the time when Le Guay was only painting occasionally and probably only as overtime work as by 1765 his main employment was as a gilder. See the F series in the Sèvres archives under the heading (translated here): 'List of items of porcelain which different painters have produced with coloured friezes and other categories outside the factory during 1765', with the subtitle 'List of overtime work'. This is most probably overtime work by salaried painters which may perhaps have been done at home.1 The list shows overtime work for Le Guay for the whole of 1765 (illustrated right) and includes a bougeoir for which he was paid 5 livres. This is the only bougeoir that he decorated that year in overtime so there is a strong possibility that this entry refers to the present lot.
See Marcelle Brunet and Tamara Préaud, Sèvres, Des origines à nos jours, Fribourg, 1978, p. 157, no. 100 for a bleu céleste example of the same form in the Frick Collection, New York. Another example of this shape was sold at Christie's in Monaco on 16 June 1990, lot 93.
Etienne-Henry Le Guay, l'aîné, later père, was a painter and gilder recorded at Vincennes and Sèvres from 1748-49 and then 1751-97.
We would like to thank David Peters for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.
1. In 1761 the overtime work list was expressly defined as work done in the evening after 6.30, work done on holidays and work started, but finished at home outside work hours.