For a plate from this service in the British Museum, see Aileen Dawson, French Porcelain in the British Museum, London, 1994, pp. 215-217, no. 179, where the production of the service is discussed in detail. The service first appears in the factory records under the title 'service Leguay' in 1806 when it was at the decorating stage. The plates were described as 'marli beau bleu riche frise d'or figures tirées de Fragonard, Landon, etc. en bronze rehaussé en or fond caillouté'. The 'marbled' ground in the well is called 'fond agathe' and was the work of the ground painter François Antoine Legros d'Anizy. The figure painter Pierre-André Le Guay was paid 19 francs 40 centimes for 'figures en brun rehaussés (or 'éclairés') d'or' on six plates from 1806 to 1808. The figures painted on these plates are after engravings by Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard, who worked at Sèvres from 1812-35, creating both shapes and decoration. The cost of applying the gilding and painting the central figures was at least 27 francs for each plate, accounting for over half the manufacturing costs.
When the service was received at the factory saleroom on 8 March 1808 the cost of production of each piece was noted and was, rather surprisingly, higher than the sale price the pieces were offered for. In total the plates cost 51.65 francs each to produce and were offered for sale at 40 francs each. Perhaps the factory was not entirely satisfied with the production of the service.1 The service did not attract a buyer and was subsequently included in the auction organised between December 1826 and January 1827, nearly 20 years after it was first produced.2
A plate from the same service was sold in these Rooms on 4 June 2013, lot 61.
1. Aileen Dawson, ibid., 1994, p. 217.
2. Tamara Préaud et al., The Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, Alexandre Brongniart and the Triumph of Art and Industry, 1800-1847, Exhibition Catalogue, New York, 1997, p. 338.