A rare Glass Cooler, Vincennes (Seguin period), circa 1778-80

This hard paste seau à verre or glass cooler comes from a dinner service made for Louis Philippe d’Orléans, duc de Chartres (1747-93), cousin to King Louis XVI of France. The exterior is painted with his LP cipher in blue, surrounded by garlands of flowers, and scattered sprays and sprigs. The two applied ring handles are painted in pinkish puce enamels. The rim and base are also picked out with a pinkish puce enamel line.

Louis Philippe was an interesting character. He supported the Revolution of 1789, voting for the death of his cousin the King, and advocating for a constitutional monarchy. Having changed his surname to Égalité, he was himself executed in the Reign of Terror. The portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, circa 1779, depicts Louis Philippe d’Orléans, as duc de Chartres, and hangs at the Château de Chantilly (see the last photo).

The base is marked in underglaze blue with the heraldic lambel from the Orléans arms, representing the strap crossing a horse’s chest from which pendants are hung.

Provenance: Christie’s, London, 2 October 1997, lot 137; the Pamela Klaber Collection; an English Private Collection. 

Condition: No chips or restoration. There is a very fine 1 cm hairline to the rim above one of the ring handles. From manufacture there is a very narrow 4 cm vertical clay tear / firing crack to the interior. There are a few burst glaze bubbles from firing. The enamel decoration is all fine and attractive.

Dimensions: Height 10.3 cm; Diameter (at opening) 9.6 cm

French Porcelain: A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, Aileen Dawson (British Museum Press, 2000).

French Porcelain of the Eighteenth Century, Christopher Maxwell (V&A Publishing, 2009).

Ref. The V&A Museum, London, holds a double salt from this service in (C.510A-1909).