A Supremely Rare Soft-Paste Sèvres Porcelain Plate from Louis XVI’s Versailles Service, 1791
With the factory mark in blue, date letters oo for 1791, gilder’s mark LG for Etienne-Henry Le Guay (active at Vincennes and Sèvres 1748-49, 1751-97).
Although his mark does not appear, the painted Charles-Antoine Didier (active at Sèvres 1787-1800, 1806-07, 1823-25) is mentioned in the kiln records as the decorator of two plates fired in 1791, one on 19 October and the other on 8 December, both of which were gilded by Le Guay (active at Vincennes and Sèvres 1748-49, 1751-97).
This is one of three plates for Louis XVI’s service produced in 1791, shown at the Louvre in December 1791, probably delivered to the king at that time, and recorded in the sales registers on 13 January 1792. This is the last part of the service actually delivered to Louis XVI, although several other pieces were produced in 1792.
30 plates were completed costing the absolutely immense sum of 480 livres each made for Louis XVI’s most lavish Sèvres dinner service. About half of the originally intended service was produced (indeed 60 plates were ordered) from 1783 until this plate was in the final delivery to the King in December 1791 during the time of the French Revolution. Production ceased in 1792 before the the execution of Louis XVI in 1793.
The bulk of the service is one of the treasures of the British Royal Collection having been purchased by George IV in 1811 and is displayed in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.