14 October 2020
A SEVRES PORCELAIN PART DESSERT SERVICE
CIRCA 1769-75, MOST WITH BLUE INTERLACED L'S ENCLOSING DATE LETTERS Q AND R FOR 1769 AND 1770, VARIOUS PAINTER'S AND INCISED MARKS
Painted with scattered roses, the border with panels of roses on a stippled cell-pattern border enclosing oeil de perdrix with gold dots, comprising: three ice-cup stands (soucoupe à pieds); two shaped square dishes (compotier carré); a shell-shape dish (compotier coquille); seven round dishes (compotier rond); two oval dishes (compotier ovale); a larger oval dish; and fifty-eight plates; together with two shaped square dishes (compotier carré) and a round dish (compotier rond) from a nearly identical service, the oeil de perdrix centering flower-heads instead of gilt dots; four plates from a similar service, possibly later decorated; and a later replacement plate
10 ¾ in. long, the larger oval dish
Probably the service delivered to 'Milord Comte D'harcourt', probably Simon, 1st Earl Harcourt, British Ambassador-Extraordinary Plenipotentiary to France in 1769 (the pieces dated Q).
Nelson A. Rockefeller; Sotheby's, New York, 11 April 1980, lot 251 (part).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, Monaco, 24-25 June 1984, lot 3270 (part).
Acquired from Partridge, London, 1986.
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D. Peters, Sèvres Plates and Services of the 18th Century, Little Birkhamstead, 2005, vol. II, pp. 409-11, no. 69-5.
London, The Antique Porcelain Co., Ltd., Coronation Exhibition, 1953, cat no. 63.
Simon Harcourt (1714-77) held a number of diplomatic posts throughout the 18th century, beginning as governor to the prince of Wales in 1749. After George III assumed the throne in 1760, Harcourt negotiated the new king's marriage to Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz the following year. In the late 1760s, Harcourt served as British ambassador to Paris, when the present service was delivered. He unfortunately passed away in 1777 after trying to rescue his favorite dog from drowning in a well.
See D. Peters, op. cit., vol. II, pp. 409-11, no. 69-5 for a discussion of the most recent scholarship on this service, the pattern of which was formerly identified as the 'Sartine' service.