Its design attributed to Jean-Claude Duplessis, the cuvette 'Mahon' was produced in three sizes, of which the present example is the largest. According to Svend Erikson, the name would seem to be related to the city of Mahon on the island of Minorca off the coast of Spain of which the capture in 1757 by the duc de Richelieu was one of the great triumphs for the French during the Seven Years War. In celebration of the battle, the name Mahon was attached to various contemporary social and cultural events including a new form of sword knot and the invention of a rich egg-based sauce, sauce la Mahon, today known as 'mayonnaise'.
More than twenty versions of this model are known and range in date from 1757-58 to 1776. Geoffrey de Bellaigue notes that the incomplete biscuit kiln records five of the larger examples successfully fired between 18 October - 30 December 1758 and 12 February 1759. Production was largely confined to the years 1757 to 1761 and sales between 1757-1763.
For the example in the Royal Collection and a discussion of this form, see G. de Bellaigue, French Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Vol. I, London, 2009, pp. 138-142. For an example of the cuvette Mahon in the larger size see the pink-ground example at Harewood House, illustrated by Hugh Tait, 'Sèvres Porcelain in the Collection of the Earl of Harewood', Apollo, June, 1964, p. 478. For two middle-sized examples with marbled pink grounds in the collection of the British Museum, see A. Dawson, A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, London, 1994, pp. 115-116, fig. 103.