Maker: Sevres Porcelain Manufactory , French, active from 1756 to the present
Date: porcelain: 18th Century; decoration: probably 19th Century
Dimensions: 2 x 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (5.1 x 26.7 x 19.1 cm.)
Medium: soft-paste porcelain, overglaze pink ground color, polychrome enamel decoration, red enamel, gilding; gilt-metal mount
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Object Number: 27.81a
Label Text: The jug and basin are of eighteenth-century Sèvres soft-paste porcelain and have decoration that was probably added during the nineteenth century. The model for the jug is the pot à l'eau tourné, possibly of the third size, and that for the basin is the jatte ovale de pot à l'eau, of the second size. Both models were in production by 1752 and were designed to hold water for hand washing. Both of these examples have eighteenth-century incised marks, and traces of the original painted factory marks remain on the base of each piece. The jug and basin appear to be an example of eighteenth-century Sèvres porcelain that was glazed and left undecorated or very simply decorated. The front wall of the basin slopes markedly down at the left, making the front and back edges uneven. This flaw in the shaping of the piece indicates that it may have been considered unworthy of further, more elaborate decoration. Many such pieces were sold from the manufactory during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and were decorated in other workshops, particularly in England. The design and execution of the painted and gilded decoration on both the jug and basin are inconsistent with that produced at Sèvres during the eighteenth century. This decoration is comparable to that on the bowl and tray in cat. 108, also of eighteenth-century porcelain with later decoration. Both sets were probably decorated in the same workshop. The pink ground color and quality of the painted flowers is very similar on both sets, the flowers possibly being painted by the same artist. The gilding is thickly applied in related patterns on both. The pattern of the overall design on the inside of the basin is very similar in most respects to that on the inside of the tray. The major difference is that the gilding on the jug and basin is outlined with a dark red enamel. Unlike the eighteenth-century examples (see cat. 101), on which carmine enamel was added after the gilding on pink grounds to enhance and give these patterns depth, the color on the jug and basin is dark red and was applied before the gilding, serving simply as a sharp outline between the areas of pink decoration and the gilded patterns.