Back to the Collection

Soup Tureen (Pot-à-oille du roi)

Made by: Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory

On view in: Mansion Exhibit - French Porcelain Room - Case 2 - Shelf 2


About this object

Tureens, or 'pots-à-oille', were the most expensive elements of dinner services. The word 'oille' is derived from the Spanish 'olla,' a type of stew made from several kinds of meats and vegetables. This recipe, along with other Spanish traditions, was introduced in France following the marriage of Louis XIV to Marie-Thérèse of Austria, daughter of Philip IV of Spain. The shape of this tureen is ascribed to the creative genius of Jean-Claude Duplessis, the artistic director and chief designer of the factory, and it is related to the first service produced for Louis XV. Its deep turquoise color (bleu céleste), which was extremely difficult to achieve, became one of the prides of the factory. Invented in 1753 and used for the first time in the Louis XV dinner service, it was inspired by the bright turquoise glaze found on Chinese ceramics of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

The turquoise-blue tureen of round, polylobed bombé shape stands on leafy celery feet from which two scroll foliate handles branch out. Two shaped panels in the cover and two in the tureen are reserved in white, and each contains clusters of flowers and fruit. This in turn are surrounded by gilt frames consisting of palm fronds and sprays of flowers. The handle on the cover is in the shape of an orange with leaves. Two scroll-and-shell handles in white picked in gold decorate the oval platter. A bouquet of flowers is painted at the center. Blue serpentine borders with swags of flowers and palm fronds in gold complete the design.

Category:
CERAMICS, FRENCH
Object name:
Culinary Container
Made from:
Soft paste porcelain
Made in:
FRANCE: Vincennes
Date made:
1754
Size:
H. 12 1/2 in., W. 13 in.
overall __31.75 CM __33.02 CM

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
24.1.1-2
Class:
CERAMICS
Signature marks:
MARK __.1 (pot) Crossed letters L's, the date letter B for 1754, and g-possibly the mark for Genest (Jean-Baptiste-Etienne), head of the painter's studio, worked 1752-89
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Displayed in exhibition:
Sevres Then and Now: Tradition and Innovation in Porcelain, 1750-2000. Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, Oct 20, 2009 - May 31, 2010
A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum. Organized by Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, 1998-2000
Featured in publication:
Paredes, Liana. Sèvres Then and Now: Tradition and Innovation in Porcelain, 1750-2000. Washington, D.C.: Hillwood Museum and Gardens Foundation; London: D. Giles Ltd., 2009. Distributed by ACC Distribution.
Odom, Anne and Liana Paredes Arend. A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum. Edited by Nancy Eickel. Alexandria, VA: Art Services International, 1998.
Arend, Liana Paredes. Sèvres Porcelain at Hillwood. Edited by Nancy Eickel. The Hillwood Collection Series. Washington, D.C.: Hillwood Museum and Gardens, 1998.