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Lidded Bowl and Tray

Date: 1765-1775
Dimensions:
bowl including handles: 4 1/2 x 7 7/8 in. (11.4 x 20 cm.)
tray: 1 3/8 x 8 3/4 x 7 1/8 in. (3.5 x 22.2 x 18.1 cm.)
Medium: soft-paste porcelain, overglaze pink ground color, polychrome enamel decoration, gilding
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection.
Marks: Both the bowl and the tray are painted underneath in blue enamel with the crossed Ls of the Sèvres manufactory enclosing the letter F. The bowl is incised underneath, in the bisque, da. The tray is incised underneath, in the bisque, Lv. Duveen labels: C4384 / 3pcs, annotated in graphite 22 (bowl); and C4383 / 3pcs, annotated in graphite, 21 (tray). Paper label typed with the name, R. Napier.
Inscription: Both the bowl and the tray are painted underneath in blue enamel with the crossed Ls of the Sèvres manufactory enclosing the letter F. The bowl is incised underneath, in the bisque, da. The tray is incised underneath, in the bisque, Lv. Duveen labels: C4384 / 3pcs, annotated in graphite 22 (bowl); and C4383 / 3pcs, annotated in graphite, 21 (tray). Paper label typed with the name, R. Napier.
Object Number: 27.60
Label Text:The bowl and tray are of eighteenth-century Sèvres soft-paste porcelain. The decoration and painted marks were probably added in the nineteenth century. The round bowl is an écuelle ronde and the oval tray is a plateau ovale, both of the second size (see cat. 101 for a discussion of the écuelle ronde). The plateau ovale model was introduced at Vincennes by 1753 and was made there and later at Sèvres in four sizes. It was still in production in the 1790s. Both bowl and tray have eighteenth-century incised marks. The bowl is marked with da, possibly for the répareur Danet, who was active from 1768-1786 or 1787. The tray is marked with Lv, possibly for the répareur Lauvergnat, who was active from 1745-1775. Both bowl and tray are marked in blue enamel with crossed Ls enclosing an F that would date the pieces for 1758. However, that date is incompatible with the incised da, the mark of a porcelain worker who was not active until ten years later. It is likely that both pieces were made between about 1765 and 1775, when both Lauvergnat and Danet were active, but left undecorated. They may have been made separately and paired at the time they were decorated.
The design and execution of the painted and gilded decoration on the bowl and tray are inconsistent with that produced at Sèvres around 1758. The pink is very pale, uncharacteristic of the eighteenth-century rose ground color, even given the variety of tones possible then. The painting of the flowers is poor and the gilding is heavily applied without tooling or character. The scrolled areas of pink ground color and accompanying sprays of flowers are symmetrically arranged, lacking variety and imagination. The pattern on the tray ignores the central circular depression. The handles and knop are fully gilt. All these elements are uncharacteristic of decoration produced at Sèvres in the eighteenth century. The blackening of the foot rims on both pieces suggests that they were refired as a result of later decoration. The decoration is very similar to that on the jug and basin in cat. 109 and was probably produced in the same workshop.

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