Sèvres footed tray

Sèvres footed tray

Code: MB693


Soucoupe à pied

From the service given by Louis XV to the Conte della Trinità

Circa 1773

Soft-paste porcelain

Diameter: 9 in. (22.9 cm.)

Marks: interlaced Ls, painter's mark for Vincent Taillandier (active 1753-90), gilder's mark for Jean-Baptiste-Emmanuel Vandé père (active 1753-79)

The present tray was part of a service given as a diplomatic gift by Louis XV to the Conte della Trinità, Grand Master to the court of Sardinia, on the occasion of the wedding of Louis’ grandson, Charles-Philippe, comte d’Artois (the future King Charles X of France) to Maria Theresa of Savoy, daughter of Vittorio Amedeo III, King of Sardinia. The marriage itself took place at the château de Versailles on November 16, 1773.

The service was delivered on August 26, 1773 to the Duc d’Aiguillon, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, who served as intermediary in the transmission of the diplomatic gift. The service was among the many lavish favors handed out by Louis XV to members of the court and government of Sardinia to celebrate this important alliance. The set consisted of over 200 pieces and was valued at 12,936 livres. It was described in the Journal des Présents du Roi as simply, “un Service de porcelain de Seve” and the recipient of the gift as, “M. le Cte. De la Trinté Grand Maitre en principal Commissaire à la remise,” (see the Archives du Ministère des Relations Extérieures, no. 2095, f.23). It was also recorded in more detail in the États des Presents in the same archive (no. 2078, pp. 30v-31) as “un Service de Porcelaine en guirlandes de verdure et marguerites en carmin rehaussées d'or” [a service of porcelain with garlands of greenery and carmine daisies enhanced with gold.] In addition to the dinner service, the conte received a portrait box from the French king valued at almost the same price.

There were four soucoupes à pied pour confitures seches (for dried fruit) in the service valued at 48 livres each. An additional 6 plateaux pour tasses à glace are also listed, priced at 48 livres each, these of the plateaux Bouret model. Ice cups (tasses à glace) typically stood on trays – either a soucoupe à pied or a plateau Bouret – and both of these models were footed, however the former were of circular lobed shape while the latter were of a triangular lobed shape. The present service included both tray forms and in this case it was specified that the soucoupes à pied were for the display of dried fruit rather than ice cups.