It was only in 1993 that Armand l'Aîné's painter's mark was identified by Bernard Dragesco. Armand used a crescent which was sometimes drawn with the addition of elaborate interlaced L marks and it sometimes enclosed dots. Dragesco made this discovery after a painstaking study of payments made to workers recorded in the archives at Sèvres, and also by the analysis of ornithological drawings by Armand which had recently come to light. The mark had previously been erroneously attributed to Jean-Pierre Le Doux (active 1752-62). Armand l'Aîné worked at Vincennes and then at Sèvres from 1745 until 1788 and was a painter of birds, animals, landscapes and figures. Antoine d'Albis and Tamara Préaud identified that Armand had worked in Paris as a painter of lacquer 'dans le goût chinois' before starting work at Vincennes in 1745.1
Sèvres sales records for December 1760 note on page 44 '1 Dèjeuner du Roy, oiseaux' selling for 120 livres to 'Aux différens Seigneurs de la Cour'; this may perhaps be the present lot. An example of a dèjeuner, painted with birds by Evans against a bleu céleste ground, including a milk-jug, was sold by Christie's in New York on 23 May 2002, lot 1.
1. See Antoine d'Albis and Tamara Préaud, 'Les Eléments de datation des porcelaines de Vincennes avant 1753', The French Porcelain Society, Vol. II, 1986, p. 1-7.