The shape of these flower or orange-tubs was probably copied from the larger terracotta tubs used since the time of Louis XIV for growing orange trees in the gardens of Versailles in warm weather. These would have been brought inside during the winter to protect the delicate trees. These small-scale porcelain versions would have been planted with bulbs or other flowers (indicated by the five drainage holes seen in the base of this form) and were probably intended to decorate the dining table. It is known that shallow square stands were made to go underneath the tubs, and moulds and plaster models for them were recorded in 1756, however none have yet come to light. A drawing of the shape is recorded in the archives of the Vincennes factory in 1752, but as the earliest moulds date from 1753, the first examples probably date from that year. See Aileen Dawson, French Porcelain, A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, London, 1994, pp. 94-95, no. 85 for a green-ground pair of the same size, also painted with birds, where the author notes that the form 'was probably devised in 1753 because four caisses are listed in the January 1754 inventory'.
Philippe Xhrouuet, père, was a painter at Vincennes and Sèvres from 1750 to 1775.