A Sevres part tea set
Lot 179
The important royal Sèvres Déjeuner des Musiciens célèbres, owned by King Louis Philippe dated 1820
Sold for £18,000 (US$ 30,286) inc. premium
Lot Details
The important royal Sèvres Déjeuner des Musiciens célèbres, owned by King Louis Philippe
dated 1820
comprising a teapot and cover, 17cm high, a sucrier, a milk jug, and five cups and saucers, all richly decorated with portrait panels of great composers, Glück, Haydn, Mozart, Piccinni, Monsigny, Sacchini and Paesiello, by Jean Georget, the swans in flight flanking the portraits by Huart, framed by laurel leaf swags and other decoration by Didier, the reverse with lists of the composers' principal works, the remainder with scrolling anthemion designs in shades of gold, (some restoration to four of the cups and to the milk jug, the sucrier cracked and lacking cover, the teapot with minor chips) (14)

Footnotes

  • This exquisitely painted service was completed by 22 September 1821, when it entered the Magasin de Vente at the Sèvres Manufactory. Originally it was accompanied by a tray painted by Madame de Bon depicting St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music and musicians, although this was not completed until a year later on 20 December 1822. There were six cups and saucers originally, each costing 500 francs. The milk jug and the sucrier cost 600 francs each, and the teapot 700 francs. The tray was priced at 6000 francs. Perhaps because of its high price, the service remained unsold until it was delivered to King Louis Philippe on 8 December 1831. Apart from Mozart, Haydn and Glück, the composers are not well-known today. Piccinni, Sacchini, Paesiello, Monsigny and Grétry had all worked in Paris, however, and so their music would have still been popular in 1820. The first four were famous for 'opéras comiques', Piccinni having been invited to the city by Marie-Antoinette in the late 1770s. Paesillio wrote all types of composition and had been invited by Napoleon in 1802. The subject for the service was probably chosen by Alexandre Brogniart, the factory administrator who favoured historical or literary themes, see Tamara Préaud, The Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, Alexandre Brongniart and the Triumph of Art and Industry (1998), chapter 6. Jean Georget (1763-1823), a fine miniaturist was one of the premier painters at Sèvres in the early 19th century. For a magnificent table, La Table des Saisons, painted by him see Les Sèvres de Fontainebleau, no. 42, pp.69-70 and p.22. Completed by 1806, Georget was paid 5000 francs for his work on this table.

    Bonhams is grateful to Mme. Tamara Préaud for her assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.

    In addition to the printed factory marks, the following workmen’s marks occur on each piece

    The teapot: shape- théière litron Fragonard
    incised 19 – 9 DL and JB
    The sucrier: shape- pot à sucre litron Fragonard
    incised 20-4 2 C (or g)
    inscribed Did. for Charles-Antoine Didier
    The milk jug: shape- pot à lait Brachard
    incised C (or g)
    Cups/saucers: shapes- tasses AB, soucoupes à thé B
    Mozart cup: incised 19 – 6 LA
    Piccinni cup: incised 19 – 6 LV for Louis-Marie Lapierre
    inscribed Di., also 28 9bre 20 B. f.
    Monsigny cup: incised 19 – 6 LA (or possibly SA)
    Sacchini cup: incised 19 – 6 LV
    inscribed Di. and 18. 9bre 20 B.f.,
    Paesiello cup: incised 19 – 6 LA
    inscribed Di. and 28. 9bre 20 B.f.

    Lists of the composers and their works inscribed on this service

    Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
    Armide, Iphigenie en Aulide, Iphigenie en Tauride, Les Pelerins de la Meque, Alceste, Orphee, Echo et Narcisse, Helene et Paris

    Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
    La Creation, Les Saisons, Musique Sacree, Symphonies, Quatuors.

    André Gretry (1741-1815)
    Silvain, La Rosiere de Salency, Zemire et Azor, Richard, Panurge, L’Amant Jaloux, Le Tableau parlant, L’Epreuve villageoise,

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
    Figaro, Dom Juan, La Flute enchantee, La Clemence de Titus, Requiem, Simphonies,

    Niccola Piccinni (1728-1800)
    Endymion, Didon, Roland, Iphigenie en Tauride, La Bonne Fille, Penelope, Atys,

    Pierre Alexandre Monsigny (1729-1817)
    Le Deserteur, Rose et Colas, On ne s’avise jamais de tout, Le Roi et le Fermier, La Belle Arsene, Felix,

    Antonio Sacchini (1735-1786)
    L’Olymiade, La Colonie Renaud, Oedipe, Evelina, Dardanus, Chimene,

    Giovanni Paesiello (1741-1816)
    L’Olympiade, La Serva Padrona, Il Barbiere di Seviglia, Le Roi Theodore, La Pazza d’Amore, La Frascatana, Proserpina
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