A Tremendously Rare and Beautiful Basket Tray made for Louis XV, 1754-55
This is one of four corbeilles lozanges that were made for Louis XV’s bleu céleste (turquoise-blue) ground dinner service that was made for his use at Versailles from 1753 to 1755. This was the first ground colour dinner service produced by the Vincennes/Sèvres factory and many new shapes were designed for the service that were then made for services for the rest of the 18th century.
More about A Tremendously Rare and Beautiful Basket Tray made for Louis XV, 1754-55
The ground colour was a very lavish form of decoration at this time and we can tell from the factory's sales records that the four baskets of this shape were delivered in 1755. This example bears the date letter B for 1754-55. This model of basket was the most expensive shape and cost 480 livres each. A plate from this service cost a tenth of that - 48 livres - which was still much higher in cost than most services were until decades later.
This large service was used by Louis XV at Versailles on grand occasions - it was partly sold in 1757 to the Comte de Stainville (later Duc de Choiseul), but much was retained for the King's more private use at Versailles and Bellevue. It is recorded as in use by Louis XVI at the Grand Trianon and by the 19th century the service was dispersed. This basket was in the collections of the Dukes of Abercorn from the 19th century until 1995. Another of the baskets was in Adrian Sassoon's exhibition at the International Ceramics Fair in 2001. Two plates from this service were sold by Adrian Sassoon in 2002 but pieces are rarely on the market.
These basket forms are remarkable for their fine pierced borders - their cost was increased greatly by the time and care that the Vincennes modellers took cutting the intricate patterns of canework and basket work.