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Made by: Etienne-Henri LeGuay

On view in: French Porcelain Room

About this object

Contrasting with the dark blue (beau bleu) of the cup and the lavish thick gilding is an oval medallion containing a bust portrait of Benjamin Franklin in grisaille. An American envoy to the French court, Franklin was so widely regarded by the French as an apostle of liberty that his likeness appeared in all kinds of media, from prints and medals to porcelain cups such as these, of which fourteen were produced. In the center of the saucer is a cluster of emblems of the Franco-American Alliance of 1777, in which Franklin played an instrumental role.

The ground is dark blue (beau bleu), on the front of the cup is an oval medallion with a bust portrait in grisaille of Benjamin Franklin facing left, his name on either side in gold capital letters, around the upper edge is a broad band of floral swags, leaf scrolls, and small sections of lattice, all in gold, the saucer has the same band on the rim and in the center a cluster in grisaille of emblems of the Franco-American Alliance of 1777-a shield with three fleur de lis, two spears, banners, and some laurel.

Object name:
Made from:
Soft paste porcelain
Made in:
Sèvres, France
Date made:
ca. 1779
Dia. 5 7/8 in., H. 1 5/16 in.

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
MARK .1 (cup) and .2 (saucer) with crossed L's and L g, for Le Guay Grand, painter and gilder from 1776-1817. .1 has 43 incised; .2 has 40 incised.
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Featured in publication:
"A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum","Sèvres Then and Now: Tradition and Innovation in Porcelain, 1750-2000","Sèvres Porcelain at Hillwood"