A Soft-Paste Sèvres Biscuit Porcelain Bust of Louis XV after Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, 1762-66

This large and fine bust of the King was created in plaster and marble by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne in 1760.

The first two biscuit porcelain examples of Lemoyne’s Bust appear in the Sèvres factory’s sales registers among the presents given by the factory at the end of 1760;  one to Louis XV and one to Madame de Pompadour and each with a value of 240 livres.  They were described as “d’après M. Le Moyne“.  Ten more of this model can be identified in the sales registers for 1761 including two presented to Lemoyne himself.  One of those ten cost 280 livres and was bought by Madame de Pompadour.  Another costing 300 livres was bought by M. Bonnet who was the Paris agent for the Court of Parma (a daughter of Louis XV had become the Duchess of Parma).

The first version of this model made from 1760 is 36 cm high and from 1762 this slightly smaller version of the same bust was produced at Sèvres which varies at around 32-33 cm high.

Known examples of the larger model are in the collections of the Château of Versailles;  in the Musée Lambinet at Versailles;  in the Musée National de Céramique at Sèvres;  another sold by Adrian Sassoon in one in 2021.  This smaller size is known from examples in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA;  one at Waddesdon Manor, UK (formerly in the Firestone collection, USA).

Other examples of this bust have an incised F for Falconet as head of the sculptors’ workshop (1757-66) or sometimes are incised B for Bachelier in the same role (1766-73).  Ours has IR, which is found on other soft-paste porcelain sculptures of the 1760s.  This is surely the mark of the modeller Le Riche, who arrived at the factory in the late 1750s hence this mark on soft-paste pieces being associated with him.  After he became head of the workshop in 1780 his mark LR would indicate he approved other modeller’s work was completed to his expectations.

Height 33cm
Width 23cm
Depth 13cm


Price on request


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