A Soft-Paste Sèvres Porcelain ‘jewelled’ Cup & Saucer with Green Ground, 1781
Each piece with the factory mark in blue overlaid with gilding enclosing the date letters DD for 1781. Painter’s mark of a triangle for Antoine Capelle (active at Vincennes and Sèvres 1745-87, 1790) and gilder’s mark LG for the flat gilding by Etienne-Henry Le Guay (active at Vincennes and Sèvres 1748-49, 1751-97). Paper collector’s labels inscribed ‘Croydon Lodge’.
This gobelet Litron et soucoupe of the third size is a very unusual example of ‘jewelled’ work on a ground colour other than dark blue. Often ‘jewelled’ pieces only have the factory mark in gilding along with Le Guay’s mark LG and it feels as if he has elaborated a painter’s factory mark in blue by the time he had the piece for gilding.
A more elaborately jewelled cup and saucer of the same date and with a brown ground is in the J. Paul Getty Museum, bearing exactly the same marks [81.DE.28].
This is an unusual colour perhaps to be associated with the one recorded in the Sèvres archives in 1781 as ‘merde d’oie’ (goose droppings) which a walk in the park confirms are a dark green. In the same year, Capelle is recorded in the factory’s archives as also working on ‘jewelled’ cups and saucers with grounds listed as ‘fond Boue de Paris’ (Paris mud) and ‘caca Dauphin’ (the infant heir to the throne’s poo) [Vj’2, f.72].
The ‘jewelling’ of stamped gold foils with enamels imitating pearls and stones would have most probably be the work of Philippe Parpette who often is linked to the large feature found on this cup with the imitation moss agate.