A Soft-Paste Sèvres Porcelain Oval Dish from the Duke of Dorset Service, 1784
This oval dish, a compotier ovale, comes from a dinner service which was bought from the Sèvres factory on 17th December 1784 by John Frederick Sackville, third Duke of Dorset [Peters 84-13].This was shortly after his arrival in France as British Ambassador, a post he was to hold until 1789.He became a close friend of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and is chiefly remembered as an early patron of the game of cricket.
In the original delivery, this service had four examples of this shape, costing 39 livres each.From the factory’s kiln records Peters has shown that all four oval dishes of this shape made for this service were painted by Noël and indeed it is his painter’s mark found on this example.
The service was brought to England when the Duke returned in 1789 and a very small group of the service is kept in the family home Knole, Kent, consisting merely of four plates.Various pieces from this service are in known private collections. but the whereabouts of the three other examples of this shape are not currently known. This piece is inscribed on the reverse which indicates that it once belonged to Comte Charles d’Harcourt (1870-1956) and then to his niece Elizabeth d’Harcourt (1901-1976) before she became the Comtesse de Jumihac by marriage.