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Écuelle nouvelle forme et plateau (first size)
Width of stand: 9 4/5 in. (25 cm.)
Height of bowl: 4 15/16 in. (12.5 cm.)
Marks: interlaced Ls enclosing date letter jj, and painter's mark for Jacques-François Micaud père (active 1757-1810)
Covered bowls (écuelles) and their stands (plateaux) were made to serve broths or soups. They were not intended for use at the dinner table, but instead in the bedroom or boudoir where they were used to serve food during the lengthy toilette. Écuelles were made at both Vincennes and Sèvres in a variety of models, the most popular being the écuelle ronde. In early 1773 the écuelle nouvelle forme, of which the present piece is an example, was introduced. A modified version of the écuelle ronde, this model was made in two sizes, in hard and soft paste and was probably thrown on the wheel. Examples of the écuelle nouvelle forme appear to indicate that there were at least two types of bowls and six stands produced in combination with one another. The pairing of plateau and écuelle was interchangeable, and it was not unusual in some cases to combine a plateau of the second size with an écuelle of the first or to have some other coupling thereof. One of the first examples of the new form was sold to Madame du Barry for 192 livres. Of the first size, it was decorated with “frize dor nouvelle très riche’ and was personally delivered to her by the director of the factory on 16 April 1773. Other examples of the écuelle nouvelle forme et plateau can be found in the Wallace Collection, the Royal Collection and the Wadsworth Atheneum.