A Sèvres Cup, 1772

This soft-paste cup or gobelet Bouillard of the first size, is beautifully painted beneath a gilt dentil border with colourful sprigs and sprays, including a windblown tulip. Each side of the handle is picked out with a gilt line, and there is a gilt band around the foot rim.

Blue painter’s initial script L for Denis Levé (born 1731, active 1754-93, 1795-1805), regarded by many as having been one of the finest flower painters working at Sèvres.

Blue interlaced LLs enclosing the date-letter t for 1772; incised: Ht.

Incised marks were applied to the leather hard surface by the throwers (tourneurs) and moulders (mouleurs) who formed the body of the piece, often on a wheel, and by the repairers (répareurs) who added handles or other details to an object. The incised letters Ht on this cup are likely to have been applied by one of the following workers listed in the Sèvres factory records for 1772:

A. Hébert, le jeunerépareur, 1767-73
L. Hébert, mouleur en pâte, 1771-73
Joseph Humbert, répareur, 1772-73
Hutinet (I), mouleur en pâte, 1764-73
Hutinet (II), répareur, 1772-73 

Condition: Excellent – no chips, cracks or restoration, just a little wear to the gilt dentil decoration on the interior rim.

Dimensions: Height 6 cm 

Sèvres Porcelain: Makers and Marks of the Eighteenth Century, Carl Christian Dauterman (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986).

Sèvres: Porcelain from the Royal Collection (The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 1979-80).

Vincennes and Early Sèvres Porcelain from the Belvedere Collection, Joanna Gwilt (V&A Publishing, 2014).

Eighteenth-Century French Porcelain in the Ashmolean Museum, Aileen Dawson (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1996).

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

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century French Porcelain, George Savage (Barrie & Rockliff, 1960).