Sèvres two-handled cup and saucer

Sèvres two-handled cup and saucer

Code: MB630

POA

Gobelet à bandeau et soucoupe

Circa 1793

Soft-paste porcelain

Height of cup: 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.)

Diameter of saucer: 6 2/5 in. (16.3 cm.)

Marks: cup and saucer with RF Sevres, gilder's mark IN for Jean le Chavaux (active 1764-1800), painter's mark for Jacques-François Micaud père (active 1757-1810), incised 41 to saucer

The shape of the present cup and saucer was one of four designed for a service destined for Marie-Antoinette’s dairy at Rambouillet. Given the neoclassical design of the Rambouillet service, the shapes fit very well with a Republican ideology, and as a result, forms such as the gobelet à bandeau were very popular during the French Revolution and into the First Republic era. As is visible on the present cup, iconography often included the Phrygian cap or bonnet (a symbol of liberty associated with the freeing of Roman slaves), the fasces (a bundle of bound rods enclosing an axe head, which was a symbol of authority of the Roman magistrates), and the plumb bob or level (representing equality of all men and justice for all). The use of the Republican colors of red, white and blue, as well as oak leaves and acorns as symbols of civic virtue were also employed.